A Whanganui beekeeper is launching a new business in response to the high honey demand.

Michael Brandon, founder of Canaan Apiaries 2016, said New Zealand had more than doubled its number of beehives in the past 15 years from 300,000 to almost 700,000, and the Whanganui region had an active beekeeping community.

"It is becoming quite popular for people to have beehives on the property and getting a beekeeper to visit the hive regularly," he said.

However, there were issues with people keeping a hive on their personal property.


"A person might pay $500 a year to the beekeeper and only receive 10 kilograms of honey worth $160 - it doesn't make sense.

"And the beekeeper might have 100 different sites to visit which means its harder to manage."

So he has developed a concept called Hive Share and sells beehives but retains management rights. That means the hives stay with him rather than on the owner's property.

"It means buyers have ownership but they don't have to look after the honey ... they buy a certain number of hives and get a guaranteed amount of tax-free honey in return," Mr Brandon said.

He is the son of John Brandon. the long-standing owner of Canaan Honey. Michael's business Canaan Apiaries 2016 will work alongside Canaan Honey until his John retires when Michael will buy out his father's company.

A launch party for Hive Share, open to the public, takes place tonight (Wednesday) from 7.30pm at the Canaan Honey shop on Mosston Road. It coincides with the shop's opening times of three days each month which this month fell Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.