Daryl The Beekeeper

Question 1: What does your business produce or supply?

Really delicious pure eating honey, independently tested Australian medicinal Manuka honey and all-natural beeswax that customers use for everything from making skin balms to polishes, eco-friendly food wraps to art. We harvest honey on the Mid North Coast of NSW, which is our backyard, and make extra trips to National Parks, forests, and private farms when there’s a particularly special harvest such as Yellow Box, Apple Box, White Box and Bloodwood.

Question 2: What motivated you to start your business

Beekeeping and caring has been something my family have done for generations. Even as a little kid I I was out in the bush and helping out around the hives and farm. Then I worked up in Queensland, the Northern Territory and WA for many years with my career in Customs, but realised I really wanted to spend more time with my dad and family, so came home and we joined forces.

Question 3: When you think about your business what keeps you awake at night?

The last few years have been extremely testing for the business with drought, heatwaves, record bushfires and floods, plus COVID meant many of our farmers markets dried up. The weather and beekeeping are so intertwined, it’s been really difficult for sure. There’s also the ever-present threat of pests such as the varroa mite entering Australia. Right now, we don’t have this pest which means our honey and beeswax is some of the purest in the world as we don’t need to treat it, but it’s always a looming threat. Luckily, I’m normally exhausted after a full day beekeeping so can normally sleep really well, especially when it’s in a swag out in the bush with the bees!

Question 4: What has your business taught you personally?

That I need to think deeply and figure out what works and why, so I can standardise the way we do things, and also that no matter how long I work, it’s hard to fit everything in! Bees and nature set the pace in our line of work, they dictate everything. That’s taught me to be really organised and to plan ahead as much as I can, including piecing together how a weather event a few years ago might affect honey production in a certain area in the future. And funnily, though I’m super-organised on the bee side of the business, I’ve learnt that my admin is a bit of a shambles!

Question 5: What’s a recent business success that you have had, that has motivated you to keep going?

We’re currently going through a creative process of rebranding. It’s energising doing the thinking about our brand, what we stand for and who our ideal customers are. And it’s also fun imagining how our products will look and feel going forward. It might have to wait a few months though because it’s the busiest time of year for beekeeping and some things just have to get put on the back burner while we bring the honey in..

Question 6: How do you feel about the future of your business in the next three years?

It’s exciting as well as intimidating. We’re hoping to pack even more of our own honey in the coming years and bring it direct to the community. And I feel good knowing we will be in a position to offer employment to people in a regional area.

Question 7: How does your relationship with SRBEC help you and your business?

It’s thanks to NRBEC and the ASBAS program, we’ve finally opened an online store so people not in our area can access our honey! We might have been keeping and caring for bees for four generations, but the whole ecommerce thing was bee-yond us. We held off going online because we thought we needed to get all our ducks in a row, such as rebranding, a new bottling facility, perfect packaging etc, but our adviser Andrew Campbell helped us see that we could start small and trial things. Andrew got us going with a temporary Shopify site so we could trial online retail and learn what customers like and respond to, this saved us waiting around for 12 months until “everything was perfect”. He also encouraged us, showing us how to experiment with Ebay, blogging and Facebook. Starting small like this has given us a chance to test our systems and make connections with customers. If we’d waited … we’d be in the same position we were a year ago, whereas this way, we already have repeat customers online and are building our honey-loving community!


Daryl’s contact details are as follows:

Website: https://buymanukahoney.com.au/


PS: If you would like your business to be showcased like Daryl’s, please contact your BEC business advisor to discuss.

Andrew Campbell