A partly Maori-owned bee company is urging caution against rushing into the honey business.
Kai Ora and Kaimai Range honey in Northland and Bay of Plenty run about 2400 Manuka honey hives mainly for export. They employ young Maori and Kai Ora is run on Maori land.
Maori land has been touted by companies such as the Poutama Trust as a good place to keep hives and make money from the honey.
But Kai Ora and Kaimai Range part owner Jody Mitchell said it has to be managed properly, as a simple thing such as having hives too close could wipe out a colony.
Mrs Mitchell said the kaimahi, or workers, also need to be trained thoroughly so they can keep the industry going.