Solomon Islanders love their honey and they’re sharing the love this weekend at the Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand’s Pasifika Business Market at Auckland’s Pasifika Festival. The Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise Centre (SISBEC) Manager Ben Nginabule is bringing over the honey packaged in 330ml bottles for sale at the Pasifika Business Market.
SIBEC is a non-government business training institution governed by a Board of Trustees.
It is one of two Solomon Island companies selected to attend Pacific Trade Invest NZ’s Path to Market delegation to Pasifika Business Market. The other company is a coconut oil producer Pacific Farm Holdings.
SISBEC has been encouraging local Solomon Islanders to become involved in the bee industry. Programmes have also been implemented to help local villagers turn their liquid gold into income.
In the past, Solomon Islanders have harvested honey from their own wild bush bee colonies. But in the 1950s Europeans bought over the European honey bee and kept them on their plantations. By 1999 the honey industry had grown to over 500 beekeepers with over 2,000 beehives. (www.leeming-consulting.com/) These hives produced about 75 metric tones or 75,000kgs of honey.
Honey is seen as an alternative income for local villagers. Solomon Island beekeepers call it their ‘honey money’.
Mr Nginabule was quoted in www.islandsun.com.sb encouraging more locals into the honey industry because of they can make around $60 to $100 a kilo selling the honey. Some of the other positives associated with keeping bee hives is there is minimal recurring costs, women and youth can participate and there are other income streams such as wax and bee pollen. He encourages locals to do beekeeping courses. SISBEC works closely with the Livestock Division and farmers in the provinces helping them with beekeeping training, equipment, queen rearing and buying and selling honey.
For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong on firstname.lastname@example.org