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"Our Pitcairn Honey" Written by Meralda Warren for website information. www.maimitihaven.com

 

I am proud to have my own label. Maimiti Haven is my own brand, and the honey comes from my Hives situated now just below my home at Maimiti Haven instead of up Melair where it was surrounded by the Rose apple, Mango and Avacado's. All along the rich ground there is abundant small flowering grass. The flowering shrubs of the Lantana the running vines of the passionfruits, The Jesme trees in bloom at certain times of the year. Huddled in abundant clumps of Rauti which blooms prolifically during the winter months. The sweet smell sends the bees in a frenzied dance to capture each drop of nectar.

Now its surrounded by mango, Soapseed tree, Avocado, some Roseapple, Breadfruit, Pulau and also flowering plants eg. Primrose, and other shrubs and vines like Easter vines. close by the Dragon fruit as well.

The Coffee in the nearby Valley help to add to the rich taste. "A Taste of Pitcairn"

Delectable Bounty belongs to my Niece Charlene Warren and her family. Kimiora and Jayden have taken over the Hives and they are producing well. I have given them my hives except for 2 and If I don't have enough of my own Honey to fill the orders, then I use Delectable Bounty Honey to help support the younger generation.

I have been a Beekeeper for Pitcairn since 1978 and have kept bees since then. I have learnt many things about bee keeping on Pitcairn Island. One was a painful experience of being allergic to bees. After 5 years of desensitizing shots, I still am a beekeeper on Pitcairn and have been helping my fellow Islanders to build their hives, maintain them and to help them to raise queens and re queen their hives.

 

History of Bee keeping

In the 1970’s we lost our honeybees that were imported into Pitcairn in the early 1940’s from NZ. In 1978 whilst my Parents and I were in NZ, I was able to approach the Beekeepers association and the head of beekeeper was Murry Reid.

My father, the late Jacob Warren was head of Forestry here on Pitcairn and shared information between former beekeeper, Oscar Clark. Oscar’s concern that the honeybees had died out on Pitcairn due to the nuclear fall out from the French bomb testing and from introduction of pesticides and mismanagements.

 

Murry Reid in NZ was eager to help and with the commissioner Garth Harraway’s help, we were able to have 2 bee hives and equipment shipped to Pitcairn on the ship following our voyage home in September 1978. The 2 beehives were looked after by Sammy Young, Dad’s cousin on the ship after we arrived back home from NZ. They arrived in December 1978.

 

The Italian bees Apis Mellifera Mellifera were happy in their new environment here on Pitcairn and soon there were additional swarms of bees buzzing around as well as the 2 imported hives. Oscar Clark set up for 2 beehives for himself.and shortly after his son looked after them.

 

My trip back to NZ in 1980-81, I joined the Wellington beekeeper’s association and learnt more about keeping bees. Back home on Pitcairn, keeping bees became more fun than a chore. We would share out the honey to those who wanted honey. With a lot of excess honey, we were giving them away to the ships.

The potential of shipping our honey worldwide and on one of my trips to NZ, I spoke with the commissioner yet again for him to start the ball rolling for us to import our honey through NZ. In 1992 I asked Murry Reid if we can have 2 more Bee colonies to help with the genetics of our hives. I had learnt with the Wellington Beekeepers the art of raising queen bees.

The second lot of Honeybees were the Italian bees Apis Mellafera

Slightly bigger bee and less aggressive than the smaller bees.

With one of the pastors who also was a beekeeper, he taught some of the Islanders how to become beekeepers but not how to raise queens.

Finally with the changing of Government in New Zealand for Pitcairn, it was recognized a potential for our liquid gold. Pure Pitcairn Honey to be imported into New Zealand with strict guidelines.

 

In May 1998, the UK Government aid agency, the Department for International Development, funded an apiculture program for Pitcairn which included training for Pitcairn's beekeepers and a detailed analysis of the disease status of Pitcairn bees and honey. As a result, Pitcairn is now able to export honey products to New Zealand and beyond.

A big thank you to James Driscol and to then Commissioner Leon Salt who made it happen. Setting up through NZ MAF testing and finalizing strict rules for exporting our honey into NZ and beyond. For clean importation of hive and clothing equipment into Pitcairn, For strict Bio security rules for any raw Honey products and equipment ban coming into Pitcairn

Pitcairn has one of the most disease-free bee populations of anywhere in the world and the honey produced is of an exceptionally high quality. The apicultural scientist conducting the project, also found that Pitcairn bees were a particularly placid variety and within a short time, was able to work with them wearing minimal protection. It would therefore seem that the export of live Queen bees is another potential earner for the Pitcairn Islanders. However, shipping and exporting into another country is impossible at this stage.

The numbers of hives on the island is now around 50, with potential for perhaps 3 times that amount.

Each year the EU requires an extensive test of our Honey for disease and health standards. This is a great must for our clients in Europe.

This test is performed in New Zealand.

The rich and intense fruitiness of Pitcairn's honey is attributed to the nectar from the Endemic tree Tarpau, Mango, Avocado, Latar, Passion fruit flower, Guava and Roseapple flowers found in abundance on Pitcairn. The ever-blooming flora of Pitcairn adds its own touch to the flavour of honey coming out of each hive.

Although we do not have the branding of Organic product on our label, Pitcairn Bees are totally disease free and there is an abundance of flowers all throughout the year adding to its tantalizing flavours and nutritional values.

Thus, we are proud to display the product as PURE HONEY.

There are different labels found on Pitcairn Island Honey Jars. Some of the Honey maybe from the same apiarists.

Pitcairn being a small Island in the middle of the pacific to date have a small population of 45 people. There are 5 apiarists active with approximately 70 Hives working. These hives produce well.

The peak flow season starts between August to April of each year and if we have a warm winter averaging between 22C-30C then the Honey flow could be year-round.

We ship from Pitcairn 4 times a year. February/March- May/June- August/September- November/December. Please order or enquire prior to these timetables so your goods can be packaged and mailed to catch the post.

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Bees

There are a number of Apiarist on Pitcairn. We try to keep our beehives happy. 

We take Honey at least 3 times a year as the Bees love our flowering bushes, trees and vines.

Contact Meralda Warren.

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