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 has always loved the outdoors and had originally wanted to be a farmer. In 2003, with a young family in tow, they 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

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 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, after a good smoking, but excited to see an ‘early spring’ in the Waikato, Terry split the hives, 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. Tui Bees quickly gained a reputation for efficient delivery of strong, healthy hives with exceptional quality. Nearly 20 years later, Tui Bees is still using hives to pollinate Kiwifruit orchards every spring.

Once pollination is over, 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.


The Adventure continues

From humble beginnings, Terry has grown Tui Bees into a thriving business, also reflected in his private live with a thriving family.  Now with 6 children and grandchildren growing by the year, Terry and Lynley have taken a step back from the business and are handing the baton over.

The business has been sold to David Waine and Andrew Cameron, with their son Leighton staying on to continue the family passion for Bees.  David has been the company accountant for over 10 years, and seen it grow, then thrive.  The decision to buy was a no-brainer…except he is anaphylactic to bee stings.

So while he sits in the comfort of his office, Andrew is the new manager on-site with Leighton looking after the clients and bees.  Andrew comes from a background of customer service having served with Telecom, Genesis and more recently finished after 5 years with Novus Hamilton.  Andrew is looking forward to the role of working inside in the winter and outside in the Summer, being a sun-bunny.

The business has been built on a solid foundation of quality and customer focus, and this will continue under the new leadership, with plans to grow the pollination and honey production as the owners have the renewed passion for the industry.  The new company name of Bacchus & Dionysus represents the Roman and Greek gods of pleasure, as after all Honey is the nectar of the Gods.