Our Company History

Nelson Honey draws on three generations of beekeeping and honey production experience to offer you the best New Zealand bee products. Formed in 1973, family-owned company Nelson Honey & Marketing (NZ) Ltd is owned and operated by Philip Cropp. Philip’s grandfather started producing honey from hives in the Nelson area as a side business to his fruit orchard more than 100 years ago.

Over the past four decades the company has grown substantially in terms of production volume, international exports and product diversification. From a one-man apiary producing a small selection of honeys in Motupiko, 50kms south of Nelson city, Nelson Honey is now a large employer in the region with operations in Motupiko, Tapawera, the Marlborough Sounds, and Hokitika on the West Coast.

In conjunction with our sister companies Rainbow Honey Ltd and Scenicland Honey Ltd, we now have well over 5,000 hives sited throughout pristine wilderness areas in the Top of the South and along the West Coast of New Zealand.


Philip Cropp – Owner and Bee Specialist

Owner and Managing Director Philip Cropp is an outstanding example of Kiwi ‘number 8 wire’ mentality and his passion for honey and bee products has seen Nelson Honey thrive. He draws on three generations of beekeeping and honey production experience. Honey is in his blood!

Philip was the first in his industry to combine Manuka Honey with Bee Venom, following requests from a farmer down the road who suffered from arthritis. After considerable testing to establish the right balance between Manuka Honey and Bee Venom he launched a product named Nectar Ease, which is also known as the ‘aches and pains honey’ as it may assist people who suffer from sore joints, arthritis and related problems.

Business grew steadily following the launch of Nectar Ease, until early 2010 Philip started experimenting with a skincare range that would combine the health benefits of Nectar Ease with the wellness benefits of skincare. He figured if the combination of Manuka Honey and Bee Venom supported cortisone production in the body, it could do a lot of good used on people’s skin too and this was how Royal Nectar Skincare was born.


Royal Nectar Manuka Honey and Bee Venom Skincare

The Royal Nectar Skincare range combines Manuka Honey with Bee Venom and natural oils and waxes that boost natural collagen production, smoothing out wrinkles and other skin imperfections and creating healthy, younger looking, radiant skin.

In 2011, articles began to appear in the British media about a new Honey and Bee Venom skincare product which was being used by members of the British Royal family Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. It didn’t take long for word to spread quickly about the product. Back in New Zealand there were suddenly camera crews knocking on the doors to Nelson Honey and newspapers and magazines came calling, wanting to know all about the new skincare range, which has been described as a natural alternative to Botox.

Since then Nelson Honey has been on an amazing journey and has transformed a small family business into a hugely successful player in the global honey and natural skincare industry.

Nelson Honey & Marketing today

Nelson Honey products fall into three distinct categories; Nutrition, Health and Skincare – easily distinguished on this website and packaging by the distinct colours used for each category. These are available from more than 500 retail outlets around New Zealand (natural health food shops, pharmacies and gift shops) and through the online webshop.

In addition, many Nelson Honey products are now exported globally to markets including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, United States, UK, Thailand, Cambodia, India and the Middle East.

We maintain a strict policy around distributor enquiries. If you are interested in stocking our products, please visit our resellers page and complete the contact form.

We produce natural products with no ‘nasties’, passing on all the natural goodness to you. This means we don’t ‘cook’ our Manuka Honey to artificially create high MG (Methylglyoxal) levels, and we add minimal preservatives to our skincare range Royal Nectar.

Fabulous bee products from the pristine wilderness of New Zealand’s South Island …from A to Bee to You!

We test all our Manuka Honeys for Methylglyoxal levels, C4 carbon sugars, Hydroxymethylfurfural and pollen count. Click here to find out more about these tests and what the results mean for you.

We implement strict quality controls across all our products, giving you peace of mind you’re using a quality product. Because we work with natural products there are variations from time to time in colour and consistency. This is nothing to worry about as it doesn’t affect the quality or effectiveness of the product. If you’d like to find out more about our Quality Control processes, or have concerns or questions about one of our products please click here.

Regardless of the tremendous growth we’ve gone through over the past few years, we remain passionate about our roots. Nelson Honey is a family-owned business with three generations of beekeeping and honey production experience to offer you the best New Zealand bee products.

We support the communities that have helped us grow, like Motupiko, Tapawera, St Arnaud and the wider Nelson area. Our staff are part of the Nelson Honey family and we value our open work environment where we work together as a team and continue to make amazing bee products for you!

Beekeeping and honey production

We look after the land and support maintaining a pristine environment for our bees to feed and prosper in. Placed in the pristine bush and forests of this beautiful part of New Zealand, our hives produce a variety of natural honeys and bee products free from insecticide or other agricultural sprays. We pride ourselves on our beekeeping and honey production practices.

Research indicates that honey produced in such clean, green environments increases the therapeutic benefits of the bee products (Postmes & Van den Bogaard, 1993) and we pride ourselves on our range of natural products that are all designed to help you feel and look great thanks to the magnificent honeybee.

manuka honey