• Patrick Dawkins

‘Beebot’ Implemented to Help Maximise Honey Value

Mānuka Orchard welcomed around 100 beekeepers and industry supporters to an expo day on July 28. There the Bay of Plenty honey storage and trading facility unveiled their new online sales platform which aims to link buyers from all over the world with Kiwi honey producers, while increasing returns to beekeepers.

Owners Logan and Tania Bowyer presented ‘Beebot’ to clients of Mānuka Orchard at the Paengaroa Community Hall, as part of an Expo Day which also included presentations from Terry Braggins of Analytica Laboratories, plus John van Klink and Aaron McCallion who outlined their research into the chemical makeup of New Zealand honeys and consumer perceptions. Pat Coles of New Zealand Beeswax and Russell Smith of Beequip also took the opportunity to address the gathering.

Mānuka Orchard’s recent Expo Day saw beekeepers informed of updates at their facility, speakers on industry issues, and this trade display area in the Paengaroa Community Hall.

‘Let’s Get Marketing’ was the theme of the day, with Logan Bowyer speaking to not just the continued growth of Mānuka Orchard as a facility for extracting, growing and storing honey, but their recent moves to facilitate connections between honey buyers and beekeepers. Beebot is an ongoing development, Bowyer explained, with the goal of improving the logistics of storing and transporting honey and as a database of lab test results. However, the latest addition goes further and provides a public-facing sales website, which Bowyer demonstrated to attendees while explaining Mānuka Orchard’s desire to link with individual producers to form a collective marketing approach.

The interactive world map graphic used on Mānuka Orchard’s website and trading platform to display honey in storage which is available to buyers.

The demonstration detailed how honey buyers from anywhere in the world can log on to the site and view what honey is available for sale, via an interactive world map which links how much honey (and of what variety) meets export requirements for their country. A separate graphic map of New Zealand allows for easy viewing of where stored honey has been produced. The platform aims to maximise returns to beekeepers, with Bowyer explaining that those honey owners who store with Mānuka Orchard can now create logins and directly link their marketing activities with their honey profile on the website.

Both honey buyers and producers can access details on the variety, amount and source of honey stored at Mānuka Orchard’s premises via their new website.

The Mānuka Orchard platform aims to facilitate more direct trade between consumer and producer and thus increase returns to the beekeeper, Bowyer said.

The facility has been operating since 2019 and in that time support of their facility has grown, with 12000 drums of honey stored on site so far in 2022. Honey sales through Mānuka Orchard have been slow in the first half of the year, but Bowyer expects a bounce back, with July sales healthy and pre-orders already in place for September.


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