Retail focused social honey enterprise

beeNew Zealand beekeeper Andy Cory oversees 3000 hives in NZ and 1000 in the Pacific Islands, and is considered one of the Pacific’s leading apiculturists.

Cory and a group of friends are working together to safeguard NZ and the world against colony collapse disorder, as the honey bee’s demise is commonly referred in the Northern Hemisphere, in conjunction with NZ’s Pacific neighbour, Niue.

The group, a partnership between Niue Honey Company and Mighty River Honey, is converting current operations into a retail focused social enterprise operating out of Niue, with the goal of selling honey, and other bee products, under the brand Save The Bee.

A share of the profits from the sale of the Save The Bee products goes toward the development of a global bee sanctuary on Niue, which is home to the healthiest last known and sufficiently isolated stock of Italian honey bees in the region, and likely the world.

“The Italian honey bee, which is a major contributor towards global agriculture and horticulture, was brought to Niue from NZ many years ago, well before the major honey bee diseases, parasites and associated chemicals afflicting today’s bees could affect them,” says Might River Honey managing director, Richard Duncan.

“They’ve since been relatively isolated in a tropical paradise for bees. Therefore, ongoing protection and preservation of these bees is critical to global agriculture, as well as for New Zealand. It’s like an insurance policy for us,” said Duncan.

“If New Zealand’s bee population were ever to suffer colony collapse disorder scale mortality rates, where would we get more bees from? The answer will be Niue.”

Duncan said creating and funding a bee sanctuary with the aim of eventually being able to potentially export clean, healthy and gentle bee stock to other countries is no simple task.

“And with an alarming 42 per cent mortality rate in the US over the last year, we hope to fast track the creation of the sanctuary through funds created from retail honey sales associated with the Save The Bee social enterprise initiative.”

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