NZ invention to be exported globally
2 April 2012
NZ invention that significantly increases honey output to be exported globally
A New Zealand designed separator that can significantly increase honey extraction efficiency, which is crucial at a time of the year when beekeepers are busiest, is about to be launched into the global honey industry.
This machine should help meet the growing demand for the golden liquid for both food and medical purposes. Beemaxx Limited has the sole right to market and distribute the patented centrifugal solids separator, known as the Humma™, to Australian, European and North and South American honey producer markets. An alternative version of the separator has been developed for applications outside of the honey industry, including milk whey and fish oil separation.
The brainchild of third generation apiarist, Ross Ward, founder of Beetech NZ Limited, the Humma™ is able to more quickly and efficiently separate honey and beeswax from honeycombs than any other separation method used by the industry. Beetech has formed a joint venture with Scott Technology Ltd known as Scott Separation Technology Ltd to commercialise and manufacture the Humma™. It is just one of a number of unique products developed by the company.
Mike Peffers, Director of Beemaxx www.beemaxx.co.nz says New Zealand exports over 60% of its total honey production. It commands amongst the highest prices in the world for its exported honey, due largely to the high value of NZ’s native manuka honey. Conventional pasture honeys, sell for around $6 a kilo while manuka honey, showing high antibacterial activity, sells for as much as $28 a kilo, and alone is worth $100m a year to the local industry. In addition to being very popular as a food product, manuka honey is used extensively for medical purposes.
“We are now ready to launch the Humma™ into the global market where, like New Zealand, honey producers are increasing their hive holdings to keep up with growing consumer demand for honey,” says Mr Peffers.
Global honey production, driven largely by the ongoing move to natural products and its perceived health benefits by Western consumers, as well as growing consumption in Asia, is projected to increase from current annual levels of 1.4m tonnes to 1.9m tonnes in 2015.
Mr Peffers says using the Humma™ will give Australian honey producers even greater expected benefits. Due to the various species of eucalyptus flowering in different regions throughout the season, honey is extracted from the hives before they are moved to new sites up to 500km apart, several times a year.
Mr Peffers says the North American honey market also presents an excellent opportunity for the Humma™. “US, producers are looking at any means to improve production as they are only able to supply half of consumer demand because hive numbers have fallen in past decades, mainly due to the adverse effect of pesticides and the varroa mite.”
Mr Peffers says that similarly Europe is a promising market. “The Humma™ will help give a huge boost to European apiarists who are already struggling to cope with the great demand for honey, especially within the European Union countries,” he adds.