Rodney beekeeping business

7:12 PM Friday March 15, 2019 True Commercial

Hives4harvest has more than 1400 hives located at 60 sites. Photo / Supplied

Rodney-based Hives4harvest is for sale at an asking price described as exceptional value for money.

The beekeeping business is being offered to the market at $1.15 million, which comprises fixed assets of $772,000; intangible assets of $80,000 and stock valued at $298,000.

“For somebody entering the beekeeping business this represents a huge opportunity, compared to setting up a similar business that would take many years to develop,” points out LINK Business broker Lynda Smyth.

Smyth says Hives4harvest has traded for almost nine years, now having more than 1400 hives located on 60 sites.

The owner is employed part time in the business, which also has a full-time beekeeping manager and three seasonal staff (as required over summer).

“My vendor is ready to move on and seek new challenges, so a real opportunity has opened up here for somebody to enter the burgeoning Manuka honey business, and take this business to a new level,” says Smyth.

“They are prepared to stay on for a month or more, to help get the new owner up and running.”

Smyth says Manuka honey is a Kiwi success story, now being widely used in food and beverages, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, natural health and medical products.

Double digit growth in consumption is being fed by monofloral high UMF Manuka honey's popularity among affluent Asian consumers, who regard is as a natural remedy, while in the West it has benefited from the shift towards whole and naturally functional foods.

Hives4harvest is managed from a shed/garage on the ownersproperty, at Snells Beach.

This premises would be easily relocatable or could be leased at the current location if desired.

Smyth says the business has mostly verbal agreements with the owners of apiary sites located between Wellsford and Pakiri to the north, Wainui to the south and Tapora to the west.

The sites are located around Warkworth, which has advantages in terms of travel time.

Some of the key Manuka-producing sites have written paid contracts in place.

The business has an exclusive concession with Auckland Council to keep hives in two regional parks.

In addition, Smyth says Hives4harvest holds valuable pollination contracts mostly servicing avocado and persimmon orchards.

Total production for 2018 season was 10,043kg, while honey harvested in 2019 has already topped 10,686kg.

The vendor has stored drums of honey from the 2019 season, plus some of the stock produced in 2018 — and these stocks are included in the sale.

The honey extraction itself is contracted out at present and the honey has only been sold in bulk to honey packers, which leads on to the subject of future opportunities.

Smyth says the Hives4harvest name (also included in the sale) has not yet been developed into a packaged honey brand or website. These developments would be a huge boost to income, as would the following:

  • expansion of hive numbers and pollination contracts;
  • increased production of Manuka honey by purchasing high-producing Manuka site contracts;
  • selling higher UMF grade Manuka honey via a honey exporter, or directly to an overseas retail chain; and
  • queens could be bred for sale with a new owner developing this part of the business.

Production would increase significantly with a good season, as the last two seasons have been poor,” says Smyth.

Hives4harvest includes:

  • centralised location of the apiary sites;
  • valuable written pollination contracts;
  • Monday to Friday operation; and 
  • closeness to Auckland City.