2 Jun 2015

Bee sanctuary proposed for Niue

7:14 am on 2 June 2015

Niue could become a global bee sanctuary if the plans of two businessmen succeed.

Richard Duncan and the Niue Honey Company's Andy Cory want backing for their plan which could lead to the export of what they call "clean, healthy and gentle bee stock.'

They hope to raise tens of thousands of dollars over the next 40 days.

The initiative comes after a lift in mortality rates in bee colonies around the world.

Mr Duncan says local landowners would be paid a hive rental arrangement.

"People of Niue, they're custodians of these bees as well and that's kind of why we're shifting to this social enterprise model because we want to bring them more into this whole operation and make sure they are benefiting as well. The business grows. They get a return. Therefore they take pride in protecting these bees and being custodians of these bees."

There are currently 1,000 hives on Niue which has capacity for 4,000.

 A beach on Niue

Niue is the largest raised coral atoll in the world Photo: RNZI