Newsletter 2016

SINCE 1944

Abuzz With News


Dear Farmer

Another honey season has finished and site honey deliveries are underway. It has been a good production season in Hawke’s Bay particularly for our traditional clover blend honey. Other areas of New Zealand have not been so fortunate and honey stocks are low.

We remain committed to providing pollination for local growers and honey for local consumers. This is becoming increasingly difficult with pressure on bee sites and huge export demand. With more beekeepers choosing to export their total crop Arataki and our neighbour Kintail Honey are now close to supplying 70% of the honey on New Zealand supermarket shelves. Having access to your farms is vital to us and we greatly appreciate your support.

We are pleased to feature John Bostock in this edition. His work with organic produce and promoting a GM Free Hawke’s Bay fits well with the need to provide a safe environment for our honey bees.

We have been a beekeeping family for a long time now and it is great to share my love of bees with my son John and my grandson Rob. I hope you enjoy reading a little about them.

Warm regards 
Ian Berry


66 Arataki Road,
Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay,
PO Box 8016, Havelock North 4157,
New Zealand
(0800 272825)
P. +64 6 877 7300
F. +64 6 877 4200
E. sales[@]

Site honey

Demand is very high for our honey this year but we saved some for you. Your boxes of honey should arrive in May – any problems give us a call.


John Bostock remembers catching up with Arataki’s John Berry over 35 years ago, when he started out as a young apple grower. This marked the start of a blossoming relationship with Arataki Honey.

“Building a successful business comes down to good relationships and our relationship with Arataki has been excellent. We just leave the pollination job up to the beekeepers and their bees and the results are always brilliant.”

With a focus on sustainable growing practises, John is now one of New Zealand’s leading growers, exporting over ninety percent of New Zealand’s organic apples.

He was the first grower to approach organic apple production on a commercial scale, now shipping produce across Europe, North America, the Middle East and all of Asia.

“Like Arataki we support a GM Free Hawke’s Bay. It’s a huge market advantage for us and means we can attract premium prices.”

John owns BOSTOCK New Zealand, which also grows and markets squash, onions, kiwifruit and grain.

“Pollination is a very important part of our whole operation and requires a professional service, which we trust. The Arataki beekeepers are always very efficient and know exactly where to put the hives and when,” says John.

“This season we had record blossoms and we depended heavily on the beekeepers to ensure we were maximizing our pollination opportunities. This flowed through to the harvest where we experienced some of the best quality fruit in several years.”

John is proud that his business remains family focused, with his sons showing a keen interest in organics and sustainable production. His eldest son Ben set up Bostock Organic Free Range Chicken – the huge demand leading to a further increase in production.

John is committed to the wellbeing of his 600 seasonal and 200 permanent staff. He has an organic vision to get people eating healthier and so recently invested in a new purpose built organic kitchen where staff can enjoy subsidised, premium organic meals.

“We grow our own organic, premium produce and we are now using this in our organic kitchen. We need to ‘walk the walk’ and create a healthy ethos inside our company so everyone who works at BOSTOCK New Zealand in Hastings can take this home to their families and show that ‘we are what we eat’ – that nutritious food creates a healthier lifestyle.”

John says he always looks forward to receiving the honey deliveries from Arataki enjoying the sweet success of the Arataki bees.


Three Generations of Berry Boys
Rob, Ian and John Berry

Arataki beehives have been located on some Hawke’s Bay farms for over seventy years.

One of the original beekeepers, company director Ian Berry, is still caring for the bees. Ian will be 85 this year so he now leaves the heavier bee work to his team of beekeepers and concentrates on monitoring and innovation, looking for new ways to manage bee health and improve honey production.

Ian’s oldest son John Berry has been a beekeeper from a young age.  John supplies honey to Arataki and lives nearby in Arataki Road. Beekeeping has always been challenging but it has recently become very difficult with the greed surrounding manuka production and the pressure on nectar and pollen resources from “out of town” beekeepers pushing too many hives into Hawke’s Bay. Like any stock there are limits to how many hives an area can sustain. Local beekeepers respect these limits but newcomers do not and bee health is put at risk.

In these difficult times John has found a way to enjoy the more artisan aspects of beekeeping. Under the Berry Bees logo he has organised his bees to produce some stunning Hawke’s Bay comb honey.  John and his wife Karen have been selling the comb direct to honey connoisseurs at the Hastings Farmers Market and it’s also available at the Arataki Honey Visitors Centre. Comb honey work earned pocket money for John as a school boy so this is a return to basics for him.  John is a long-time volunteer with Birds New Zealand and his work with Cape Sanctuary resulted in a special hive placement and a line of “Kidnappers Comb Honey”.

Also seen at the Farmer’s Market is John’s youngest son Rob Berry.  Rob also works as a beekeeper at Arataki. Some of the team started at Arataki before Rob was born so at 24 he is not the most experienced beekeeper but, like his grandfather, Rob is passionate about bee health. Well trained beekeepers are vital to ensure good hive management and allow the bees to get on with their work of pollination and honey production. Technology is becoming increasingly important in hive monitoring and the skills Rob brings from his work in the computer industry will help progress his role in the future of Arataki Honey.

Arataki News

Wasps are worse than ever this season. Give us a call if you are seeing wasps and we will help you with eradication.
We are proud to continue support for the Hawks Basketball team, Fruitgrowers fishing competition and Department of Conservation eradication of wilding pines in Kaweka Forest Park. We host school visits to our Visitors Centre and support country sports events with honey prizes.
As the largest provider of beehives for pollination in Hawke’s Bay Arataki need strong healthy hives for the horticultural sector in the spring. This is being made increasingly difficult by pressure on bee sites. The strong demand for New Zealand honey has encouraged an increasing number of new entrants into the industry and rapidly increased beehive numbers in the country and particularly in Central Hawke’s Bay and the Heretaunga Plains. Other beekeepers move in, place hives on farms for the winter and early spring, then move them off to chase manuka honey around the country. Arataki Honey Ltd has the history and is committed to Hawke’s Bay and the needs of its growers and farmers.
Ian Berry, Director & Production Manager   06 877 7300
John Walsh, Pollination & Beekeeper Manager   027 643 3537
Genevieve Renall, Marketing Manager,   06 877 7300 genevieve[@]
Pam Flack, Director & Finance Manager   06 8777300 pam[@]

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Business / Organisation

Arataki Honey

Format of the original


Date published

Winter 2016


  • Ian Berry
  • John Berry
  • Rob Berry
  • John Bostock
  • Pam Flack
  • Genevieve Renall
  • John Walsh

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