Our Story

Where it Began

Terry started his horticultural career as a 12 year old working in the renowned Keats Garden Centre which specialised in rare and unusual trees and shrubs.  Terry and Lynley were married in 1985 and have a family of six, three boys, three girls, and now three grand children.

Terry has always loved the outdoors and had originally wanted to be a farmer. In 2003, with a young family in tow, they felt God leading them to leave their life of security and start a bee business. The business was definitely started on “a wing and a prayer” with little money, a slipped disc, a sprained back and quite a severe bee-sting allergy which eventually got better.

With no prior beekeeping experience, the family bought 58 hives from Kerikeri and drove them back down to the Waikato. After taking a wrong turn on the motorway, the bees ended up in 5 o'clock traffic at the bottom of Auckland’s Queen Street!  It was quite the adventure and they were sure glad to get home and start their new life.


Beginning the journey

At this stage, Terry stepped aside from his management role at the garden centre and became a part-time beekeeper for the next 9 months, while he learnt the ropes of running a beekeeping venture on his own. At the end of Summer, Terry split all of his hives three ways, later learning that it was quite a feat that every single one of them took. He now had 170 hives and that winter purchased another 150 four box hives from the South Island. Those hives almost didn’t make it when the refrigerated freight they were on caught fire in Tirau and the fire brigade had to be called out!

However, make it they did, very subdued after a good smoking, but excited to see an ‘early spring’ in the Waikato. Terry promptly split these hives in two, bringing the total to 470 hives. Over the previous winter, he had arranged contracts for his hives to pollinate kiwifruit orchards over in Te Puke. Terry remembers the long drive there and praying that they wouldn’t ask him about his pollination experience, as he didn’t have any at that stage! His prayers were answered and he came home with a signed contract. Tui Bees quickly gained a reputation for efficient delivery of strong, healthy hives with exceptional quality. Nearly 15 years later, he is still using his hives to pollinate Kiwifruit orchards every spring. Once this is finished, the bees are transported from one side of the North Island to the other. Up and down the rugged West Coast of the Waikato Tui Bees produce their own special unique blend of honey. From pure, unspoilt stands of native bush in prime locations, the end result is a rich, golden bush honey that is predominately Kanuka.

Want Delicious Honey?

Needing that sweet taste of honey on your morning toast or as part of your next master creation in the kitchen? Tui Bees honey will be perfect for you.