SummerGlow Apiaries sets up base in Taranaki region
Hamilton’s manuka honey producers SummerGlow Apiaries sets up base in Taranaki region
A LARGE quantity of quality manuka plants and an ideal landscape to produce pure manuka honey are the reasons why Te Kowhai-based SummerGlow Apiaries has decided to expand its operation into the Taranaki region.
SummerGlow Apiaries owners Bill and Margaret Bennett have recently purchased 900 acres of marginal farmland in the area, says company director, beekeeper and office administrator James Jeffery.
“We haven’t had a lot of experience with [the Taranaki manuka] yet given that it’s only our first season down there but the quality, density and amount of it is amazing,” he says.
What made the area even more appealing to SummerGlow Apiaries was the fact that the manuka in the area was isolated from other “competing nectar sources”.
That’s important as it will allow SummerGlow to produce the purest manuka honey.
“What’s so attractive about the Taranaki manuka is there’s nothing else in that area that offers anything else for our bees to feed on during the time the manuka is flowering,” says Mr Jeffery.
“If the manuka is the only source of nectar our bees can find … the honey is going to be as pure as it can possibly be.”
SummerGlow Apiaries is a family-run business which has been producing high-quality and world-renowned manuka honey for more than 35 years in the Waikato region.
Mr Jeffery says SummerGlow Apiaries has been looking to expand its operation since he and his brother-in-law, Alan Bennett, joined the company after working as a police officer and dairy farmer respectively.
The Taranaki region was first mooted after Bill and Margaret Bennett noticed all the manuka in the Stratford area while driving home from a holiday.
“They stumbled across a newspaper which was advertising there were properties for sale in the area,” says Mr Jeffery.
“We did some investigations with other beekeepers that have been in the area for several years prior to us and it seemed to be on par with the rest of the country.”