Brian wanted to establish The Swarming Sons with his brothers to see their artisan, sustainably produced and beautiful product “go all the way from the hive to the customer, by-passing the bulk buyer.”

Brian is the youngest of The Swarming Sons and lives in Hanmer Springs.

At the age of 19, after a year of snowboarding and beekeeping in Canada, he took a huge leap of faith and started his own business, Hanmer River Honey.

Now he produces Hanmer Manuka honey, Hanmer Wildflower honey and Hanmer Honeydew honey. Neither of the other Swarming Sons produces wildflower and honeydew.

He says he has been beekeeping since he was “knee-high to a grasshopper.”

There were some days as a kid he was “stung up” and ran for his life. But his confidence grew as did his skill to handle the bees.

These days Brian considers beekeeping “one of the most interesting jobs in the world.”

“I was convinced by the time I left school that I wanted to be a beekeeper and when I returned from Canada I wanted my own hives.”

Brian has made his home on the banks of the Hanmer River overlooking the Hanmer Basin. He says he enjoys the North Canterbury high country landscape of rugged hills and braided rivers and embraces the challenges it brings to his working day.

He is now in his fourth honey season, and things are going pretty well. He has a good support team and has built up the infrastructure to sustain his business.

Brian’s parents say his humor, independence, and ability to argue a point are qualities that have stood him in good stead for negotiating the business world.  His ambition has always been perfection and this is evident in his immaculate beehives.

Brian says he wanted to establish The Swarming Sons with his brothers to see their artisan, sustainably produced and beautiful product “go all the way from the hive to the customer, by-passing the bulk buyer.”

“We are all different as brothers and produce different honey, but we have a unique family connection as The Swarming Sons.”

Hanmer Springs honey