Company founder, Jason Marshall, says that his passion for all things bees stems from tending his first hives around 30 years ago as a ten-year-old in North Canterbury.
“Growing up just outside Waikuku, I’d spend my school holidays and every spare moment either out with the local commercial beekeeper in Ashley forest, or messing with my own hives at home.”
Jason eventually came to settle in Auckland where he rekindled his apiarist interests with two hives on the back section of his Glenfield townhouse. However, it wasn’t long before a standing interest in beekeeping, coupled with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, saw Jason grow SJA from a backyard hobby into what it is today. Kicking off with an initial purchase of 30 hives, the SJA operation has now expanded to approximately 6,000 hives and nucs, a team of 14 to 20 staff, and a factory outlet and base in Helensville.
“When I initially looked for what I needed to get started, it became instantly obvious that buying a decent quantity of good quality hives was no easy task! From that point, it just made good sense to me that the core of my business should be to produce premium hives to market to the commercial apiarist,” says Jason.
Today, after dispatching thousands of hives to support the growth of New Zealand’s beekeeping industry, the premium hives business arm continues to thrive. Complimenting the sale of hives, SJA now produces many 1000’s of mated queens for the industry, packages bees for Canada and provides pollination services to Orchardists.
SJA also produces bulk multi-floral honey alongside a large quantity of migratory hives into high grade manuka areas.
SJA Honey’s future outlook is looking sweet, with strong growth forecast across all divisions of the business. A high priority is also placed on the contribution we make to our local community, whether it’s supporting local rugby, creating employment prospects, or maintaining a positive environmental impact by ensuring sustainable business practices across our operations.