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Allan Richards - Mr Bees Active Manuka Honey - Website Admin

Allan Richards

A FEW WORDS ABOUT "MR BEE"
ALLAN RICHARDS


I started beekeeping in about 1983, by acquiring a swarm off a tree at my father’s place. I chucked it in a box and then thought “Now I have to learn how to look after these things!”.
The first hive grew to two, two became twenty, and by my third year I had a hundred hives.  At that time, I had fulltime employment at Telecom, so the bees were really a hobby, although an engrossing and time-consuming one. In the early 1990’s I was made redundant from Telecom along with thousands of others.
Bee keeping was something I knew and enjoyed so I decided to take a hobby and turn it into a business.  Along the way, I meet many other beekeepers, some of whom have become good friends and mentors. For 3 years I was President of the Southern North Island Branch of the Beekeepers Association.

It has taken many  years to reach the stage I am now at, and there have been many hitches along the way.  New Zealand was hit by the varroa bee mite in the early stages of this century, which added extra costs to production as well as extra work.
I lost several hundred hives in a major flood a couple of years back, from which I am still recovering, as my insurance, I discovered, was totally inadequate.

I now have about 900 hives, mainly sited in manuka country as manuka  is the most popular honey New Zealand produces for the world market.
My beekeeping income has been  supplemented along the way by other contracting work, so that I can increase hive numbers by ploughing any profit back into the business.

 

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