To BEE or not to BEE
That is the question! What do you do when your wife tells you that you need a hobby? This was the dilemma facing Greg Harrington when his wife, Marguerite, told him this after being in the corporate world for many years, with all work and no play.
“I decided she was right, so I took up bee keeping. It just grew and grew and the more I learnt the more I wanted other people to know about this wonderful past time” smiles Greg.
After three years bee keeping, Greg is now a registered Bee Keeper. He has passed the assurance quality criteria and has his own registered number which complies with the NZ Bee Keepers Association. But Greg wanted to share this passion with anyone and everyone and to do this he has opened his own retail and manufacturing shop in the heart of Drury. “I like where the shop is situated, Drury is rural, semi rural and has urban areas surrounding it, plus it is so close to the motorway off ramp it is perfectly placed for visitors from the north and south”.
There are the three kinds of honey bees that you will find living inside a beehive - the Drone, the Worker and the Queen. Honey bees are highly specialised and functioning hive needs each of the hive members to perform their job well or the hive will not survive and prosper. They must work as a team and be willing to sacrifice themselves if need be to keep the hive alive and thriving. Inside the ‘The Bee Hive’ you can see a working hive (behind glass) with more than 10,000 bees at work. There is a special exit pipeline that is connected to the outside for them to come and go. Greg also makes the hives if requested although there are several on the shop floor that is available to purchase if you wish to start your own hive, from kit set upwards.
Other products available in store are Royal Jelly, honey ranges from Clover through to Manuka Honey, which can be sampled in store plus a full range of bee keeping equipment.
“We can help with anything to do with bee keeping, we have all the equipment you would need and the experience to help you get started. We will also be holding night classes for anyone who would like to learn how to become a bee keeper. This is a very exciting time for us, my own children are very interested in this as are my twin boys that are thirteen years old, my wife looks after the financial side of things and my three daughters are also keen to be part of the team ” laughs Greg.
Greg explained that he is very popular with his friends and neighbours around February when it is ‘Honeyflow’ time; this is when the honey is at its peak and is able to be collected. “you need to have a commercial kitchen to extract and sell honey, it also needs to be checked for Toot plant (Tupakihi or Tutu is a small tree that grows to a height of 8 metres and can be found throughout New Zealand up to 1000 metres above sea level1.
- all parts of the plant except the fleshy flower petals or berries are highly toxic, containing a poison called tutin).
The store is now in its third year one of its highlights is its beekeeping courses, we have put through 300 students in the last 2 years and the feed back we get from the students has been a amazing and very positive.
The two day course has been our most popular along with the theory the students get to go into a working hive, our second tutor is a qualified beekeeper with 30 years commercial experience. This unique opportunity gives our students a balance look at beekeeping.
This year our courses have really taken off to the point where we are running 2 courses a month.
Check out or Education & Training page for more information.
Our trained staff love to give advise on our products and beekeeping so please call into The Bee Hive unit 7 - 236 Gt South Road in Drury or call us on (09) 294 9005 and have a chat with Greg or one of the team.
Greg has been away for nine months working with commercial beekeepers, Greg says "What a pleasure its been working with these commercial beekeepers the hard work they do is a credit to the beekeeping industry and to New Zealand".
While I was away two of my daughters looked after The Bee Hive they loved it so much they now both work in here part time.
We are what you would call a one stop shop - We can provide you with lives bees (when in session) beekeeping equipment, education, we have our own designed suits and gloves and we manufacture some products on site.
Check The Bee Hive out - Google