They’re the bee’s knees


Happy Val­ley cel­e­brates more than 40 years of pro­duc­ing honey prod­ucts di­rect from the hive

It was in 1975 that Ben Rawns­ley and his wife, Dot, founded Happy Val­ley Honey – a hobby which soon grew into a busi­ness – and went on to help lead the bee­keep­ing in­dus­try in New Zealand through their sig­na­ture va­ri­eties and unique abil­ity to cre­ate ad­di­tional hive prod­ucts for health and well­be­ing. To­day, Happy Val­ley makes over 40 honey and hive prod­ucts for 16-plus coun­tries and was the first com­pany in New Zealand to com­mer­cially pro­duce royal jelly.

Happy Val­ley prides it­self on be­ing a family busi­ness and is now owned and op­er­ated by three Kiwi fam­i­lies who bring to­gether five gen­er­a­tions of bee­keep­ing knowl­edge. As a mem­ber of the UMF Honey As­so­ci­a­tion, Happy Val­ley works closely with the in­dus­try to en­sure its manuka honey meets strict qual­ity and pu­rity cri­te­ria. And it’s safe to say that peo­ple are hooked – with global de­mand for manuka out­strip­ping sup­ply.

While manuka is the va­ri­ety that put New Zealand honey on the map, Happy Val­ley is equally pas­sion­ate about the other flavour pro­files avail­able across its range. The unique flavours and fra­grances de­rived from each flo­ral nec­tar source re­sult in some hon­eys with a more savoury taste pro­file, which pair well with meat, and other sweeter va­ri­eties such as the na­tive tawari honey with its rich but­ter­scotch flavour.

The jewel in the crown of a bee­hive, quite lit­er­ally, is royal jelly. This con­cen­trated formula of unique pro­teins and lipids is fed to the queen bee to as­sist in egg pro­duc­tion and en­sure she’s larger and lives longer than the worker bees. Happy Val­ley har­vests royal jelly from the hives, us­ing it as a vi­ta­min- and min­eral-packed sup­port for vi­tal­ity in us hu­mans. Hive by-prod­ucts are also used by Happy Val­ley in the cre­ation of bee pollen and propo­lis (a type of resin) prod­ucts.

Happy Val­ley still has cus­tomers to­day who re­mem­ber vis­it­ing Ben and Dot and fill­ing their own jars with beau­ti­ful honey straight from the source. And more than 40 years on, you’ll still find that same standard of qual­ity with ev­ery Happy Val­ley prod­uct packed with the best New Zealand ingredients na­ture has to of­fer.

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