Since launching in 2020 Wānaka based Tiaki Bees has been inundated with new customers keen to support their beehive hire venture.
“ I was definitely surprised by the interest and support from private clients, schools and businesses signing up to lease a hive,” says owner Barna Szocs. “ It is very reassuring to meet locals in all walks of life, young and old alike who are interested in sharing our passion for beekeeping.”
Barna was an enthusiastic bee hobbyist with a good number of hives dotted around backyards of friends before kicking off the business just after the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown which added some challenges.
“ There was quite a lot of suspense to the whole thing but in my heart I wanted to help the bees and support the environment and succeeding in business was less important. The lockdown and current global situation has us all more interested in health and producing our own food – the world is an interconnected ecosystem in which everyone and everything has a role to play and Tiaki Bees fits in with that.”
Barna says hiring a beehive to have in the home backyard, retirement centre or business is a straightforward and rewarding process.
“ Our clients are not required to do anything. The bees do the important job of pollination and honey making while we do all the periodical inspections and maintenance and our clients just sit back and enjoy the benefits. All you need is about half of a square metre of space and we make sure to position the hives so they are not in the way.”
“We get feedback all the time on how the bees help clients’ vegetable gardens, flowers and fruit trees to flourish and produce more healthy crops. One client recently noted “we have noticed such a – difference in our garden, we love seeing the beautiful hive and watching the bees buzzing around – they have definitely helped with pollination of our fruit trees and plants this spring.“
Producing backyard honey is a spinoff from beehive hire and at the end of summer Barna and his team remove the honey boxes to extract and package the raw honey and deliver it back to clients.
“ Many of our clients are families with children and the added benefit is educating the next generation about where our food is coming. The key role the bees play in our food supply keeps children interested and we offer a “Meet Your Bees” session where the whole family gets to look inside a hive,” says Barna. “We also send out a seasonal newsletter informing our clients about what their bees have been doing and what will be the next stage in the process.”