Honey Highlight: 2021 Grand Prize Winner


Beekeeper smiling
Close-up of the rewarewa flower

Beekeeper: Hekenoa (Taawi) Te Kurapa

Ruatahuna, New Zealand

How long have you been a beekeeper?

About 8 years – a couple of years as a hobbyist then leading the team for Manawa Honey NZ

Why did you become a beekeeper?

I’m a hunter. All my life I have hunted pig and deer in our forest This was my favourite past-time, and I was really never interested in anything else. But then, some years ago, I became interested things like keeping a garden, and orchard and bees. I still love my hunting but all these other interests are also part of my life now.

I was just a hobby beekeeper, but I’m also a director for Manawa Honey and when needed, I stepped in to take the role of Chief Beekeeper.

What is your favorite thing about beekeeping?

Big office – I love the outdoors and working in natural surroundings. Bees are fascinating creatures and working them to produce the best in honey from our forests is a challenge that I have enjoyed immensely.

What are the floral sources for your bees?

Our bees work different floral sources in our homeland forest, Te Urewera, depending on the season and year. The main ones to give us monofloral honeys are Rewarewa, the New Zealand honeysuckle; Tāwari from our mountain ridges, and world-famed Mānuka. Beyond that Te Urewera has many other floral sources that give us a wonderful Wild Forest Honey that we call Pua-ā-Tāne – bounty of the God of the Forest.

Get tickets to this year’s Black Jar Honey Contest!