Our story begins with Norman and Mary Dean of Dean Apiaries, based in Ohauiti in the Bay of Plenty. Their decision to retire from beekeeping came in 2009 and their hives passed on to Sue and Craig Ross of Ross Apiaries. Head of Apiary, Santi Baldo oversaw the success of the operation with growing their number of hives from 400 hives to more than 2,500 and he continues this success today with his team.
Shortly after 2010 and with the increased number of hives, the team saw an opportunity to begin breeding queen bees to support the new hives. Mary Ann Baldo – our Queen Breeder, built a thriving system in 2013 that met the apiary’s requirements and helped to support plans for sustainable expansion of strong hives and genetically healthy queen bees.
Two years later in 2015, Three Peaks Manuka Honey had begun. The opportunity arose in 2017 to expand the business when our founders purchased Ross Apiaries. At the time there was excitement to integrate, strengthen and grow the honey team and introduce New Zealand’s best Manuka honey to the world.
We have always understood the precious relationship between our beekeepers, bees and lands we work on are to producing premium Manuka honey. As part of our approach, this took us on a journey working with different partners that share these values. We were part of sustainable projects that included restoring ecological significant wetlands, replanting vast areas of Mānuka forests, and reducing numbers of introduced predators that harm delicate and endangered native species in the Parihauhau area. This land was later sold.
In 2019 we purchased more hives and Coast to Coast Apiary, established in 2015 by Michael Lumsden as an apiary investment. From these investments, we became a significantly sized player in the Manuka honey industry.
Later in the year, we entered a mutually beneficial relationship with the East Taupo Land Trust (ETLT) and other whānau (family) trusts in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions in October. Working with these communities, we have access to these beautiful, wild, remote, and Mānuka-rich lands and we understand the privilege to be granted access to these sites.
The ETLT is a key stakeholder to our business and the relationship offers stability now, and for their future tamariki (children). For the love of the land and ensuring its ability to provide, we work to offer opportunities to the rangitahi (the younger generation) ensuring continual work for all who are interested in working in the industry. These include educational workshops and work experience in the beekeeping and native flora nurseries for the regeneration of these precious sites.
Today we have close to 8,500 hives across New Zealand’s North Island. We have placed them out in the Coromandel, throughout the Waikato, Manawatū-Whanganui regions, and even extending as far south as Pongaroa in the Wairarapa. In owning our hives, we can ensure complete transparency in our entire supply chain. By purchasing Three Peaks Manuka honey you can be assured at every step of our process, every jar of Manuka honey is handled with care and certified as Manuka honey.
Supporting the communities is one of our commitments to landowners, whether it is hands-on or honey we are happy to help. As of recently, our 2019 highlights included Taumarunui Horse Sports, Life of the Hive educational visits, Ngāti Hei Tuia 250 commemoration and RIDE: New Zealand Cycling Festival.
We are a team who marry the art of beekeeping and honey production – that is what sets us apart. We see it as our responsibility to care for every aspect of production. From sustainable land management, beekeeping, quality assurance, regulatory compliance, packaging development and logistics. This is to ensure our Manuka honey retains the flavours, textures, colours, and its Unique Manuka Factor (UMF™) that it’s famous for and is at its finest at every step of the way.
Our full range of Manuka honeys has our signature characteristics of thick and velvety texture, herbaceous aromas, and mineral, caramel flavours. By purchasing any of our Three Peaks® Manuka honey you can be assured at every step of our process, every jar is handled with care, is traceable and certified as Manuka honey.