Great Barrier Island Bee Co

The full story behind The Great barrier Island Bee Co

The Inspiration….

Over the last 20 years I have developed a great understanding and appreciation for the “Barrier” and its unique environment. It was however quite a few summers back I was sitting on a friend’s deck which happened to be surrounded by Manuka Trees that were alive with the sound of humming bees. This was rather timely as I was reading a book on the history of Barrier and came across a fascinating chapter relating to the incredible pioneering of bee keeping on the island. Looking up I wondered if honey was still produced on the island ? An idea was starting to hum…. Later on while making a regular drive into Claris I decided to stop at a small shack with the sign out side “Honey Museum”. It was upon opening this door that the idea then came to life. In one day ....a book…bees …honey… …a museum …in a beautiful place, which initially inspired the creating of this range.

Range & ingredients

Fortunately our family has a history in creating quality bath and body products going back 24 years. We are also very aware of the amazing well researched benefits of Manuka Honey which assists to nourish and repair the skin. With in this range we have blended other beneficial quality ingredients like Sweet Almond oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Propolis , Royal Jelly. Products contain no parabens, no synthetic colours, not tested on animals, but…. have been tested on Great Barrier Island locals!


The tin pots we have used are inspired by the tin cans which were once used to ship the honey off the island in the Blackwell's boat, the Rosella, better known as the "Honey Boat", the cans were then placed in hot stamped wooden boxes looking like old packing crates. Emphasis overall has been to create an iconic “New Zealand” range with a timeless look that will be around for many years to come.

With regard to naming the range we decided on the “Great Barrier Island Bee Co” which we feel is a reflection of the historical “co operative” approach to bee keeping and also due to the honey now coming from various properties around the island.


Many people have had a major influence in the creating of this range which we are very grateful for. This includes Bruce and Colin our bee keepers for their time in educating me further about bees, hives and honey production.  Also time spent at the Honey Museum with Dave Watson which provided a lot of visual inspiration along with meeting Bev & Les Blackwell and the Maybe family so we could hear about the unique pioneering history of beekeeping on the island.