In the picturesque, rolling hills lying south of the city of Tauranga is the rural district of Oropi. Famed for its green and gold kiwifruit and creamy avocadoes, this region of New Zealand is deservedly named the ‘Bay of Plenty’. Tauranga is the fifth largest city in New Zealand, and the neighbouring beach town of Mount Maunganui is a classic kiwi sand and surf holiday destination.
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The newly minted Three Peaks Manuka Honey brand is supported by generations of bee keeping knowledge and experience. Our unique bee keeper number is D120. This identifying number was first issued in the 1970s to Norman and Mary Dean. Deans Apiaries was based in Ohauiti in the Bay of Plenty. When the Deans retired, the bee keeping business of around 400 hives transitioned to Craig and Sue Ross. From 2009, Ross Apiaries has been located in Oropi in the Bay of Plenty and has grown steadily to more than 2,500 hives.
Three Peaks Manuka Honey purchased Ross Apiaries in 2017, and there is a real excitement and enthusiasm to integrate, strengthen and grow the whole honey team to embody the company’s commitment to bring New Zealand’s best Manuka honey to our global customers.
Head of Apiary
Santi’s interest in bee keeping is rooted in family tradition in the Philippines and his experience extends internationally to Canada and New Zealand. He has been instrumental in the steady growth of the Apiary over the last nine years. His deep knowledge of the principles of good bee keeping provide a solid foundation for the continued success of Three Peaks Apiary. Looking ahead, Santi aims to develop an organisational culture that combines consistency with efficiency. Within this framework, bee keepers will have the opportunity to broaden their experience and progress their careers.
Queen Breeder and Shed Manager
Mary ann is responsible for all shed-based activities at Three Peaks Apiary, ensuring a safe, tidy and organised work environment. However, her passion and talent lies in the delicate and precise work of breeding replacement queen bees for the hives. Queen bees are the life force of a hive, and Mary ann’s skill in this area ensures that the hives are strong and bursting with bees. Since taking over the queen breeding programme in 2013, Mary ann has built a thriving system that meets all of the Apiary’s requirements and will support Three Peaks plans for sustainable expansion of hive numbers.
Derek is a reliable and committed bee keeper and is a valued member of the Apiary team. He specialises in logistics and pollination services, where his careful and dedicated approach is appreciated by landowners and orchard managers alike. Derek has four year’s bee keeping experience and has worked in the Apiary for two years. He chose the outdoor life of bee keeping following a career in property valuation.
Samuel is young, energetic, full of enthusiasm and committed to a career in bee keeping. He came from the Philippines initially to the South Island of New Zealand, but has migrated north to finer weather to settle in the beautiful Bay of Plenty. He looks forward to developing his knowledge and professional credentials within the Three Peaks Apiary team.
Head of Bee Keeping
This role was created in 2018 to provide oversight and consistency of bee keeping teams in the field. Junie’s experience across several bee keeping operations and his teacher training equip him to support the training and progression of bee keepers. Junie’s photography skills are also appreciated.
Bee Keeping is an interesting and varied job that will take you outdoors and on the road. Working together in a tight unit everyone knows their role and works calmly with the bees. We have equipment for the heavy lifting but there is still a lot of fetching and carrying that will keep you fit. During the summer the hours are long and the days are hot! You will get to see some stunning parts of the country and develop good four-wheel driving skills.
The Bay of Plenty offers an active outdoor lifestyle as well as educational and employment opportunities. There is an NZQA New Zealand Certificate in Apiculture (Level 3) delivered in Tauranga by the Pacific Coast Technical Institute. There are no fees for first time tertiary students, and the qualification is a pathway to Assistant or Junior Bee Keeping positions. Three Peaks Apiary supports professional and personal development for staff with qualifications such as First Aid and a Heavy Vehicle Licence.