Dave Waddell knew that keeping pace with demand for his company’s highly sought-after manuka honey would mean getting more of Three Peaks’ honeybees deeper into untouched parts of the New Zealand forest. But it would be a tricky race against time. The manuka flower blooms for just four weeks a season.
The solution? Helicopters, which quickly delivered 9,000 hives across multiple sites on the country’s fertile volcanic plateau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dotted with crater lakes and unspoiled forests.
"You’ve got a very small window to operate in terms of when the manuka is actually flowering, so everything is building up to this time of flowering and then suddenly you’re moving thousands of hives around the country. So it's a pretty big challenge," says Waddell.
The result is worth it — a richly creamy honey with botanical depth of flavor. Along with their seasoned apiary team, Three Peaks also works in partnership with the indigenous Māori people—the stewards of these natural areas—to ensure their processes and practices are sustainable and honor the land they rely on.
Waddell, however, takes a simpler approach: “I prefer it as an accompaniment to my cereal at breakfast time.”