Who We Are

Canaan Honey is a family business.   In April 2020 Michael and Melissa took over the business established by Michael’s parents, John and Janice Brandon.  We enjoy the support of our family, children and friends in the business.

Michael follows in the the footsteps of his parents John and Janice who have spent half of their lifetime – 40 years – involved in commercial beekeeping up to April 2020. 

Let us celebrate this milestone by sharing our family story.

Early on, bees were just a hobby for John and Janice, starting with two hives in 1978 while John worked as a Farm Advisor and tutor at Flock House Farm Training Institute near Bulls. Canaan hive numbers quickly grew to thirty five which prompted the idea to explore going commercial beekeeping. They saw the advantage of this being a home based business and something the whole family could take an active part in.

John left Flock House and took the bold step of becoming a full time beekeeper that he has been for 40 years.

They  purchased a home and former racing horse stables complex here on Mosston Road, which was quickly converted into a base for their beekeeping enterprise. They wondered at first how they could use so many stables but they need not have been concerned. The stables proved invaluable for honey storage, and beekeeping equipment over the years.

The original grain and tractor shed was transformed into a honey shop, and an extraction and packing room. Hive numbers increased each year to provide a pollination service for newly planted kiwifruit orchards in the Whanganui District.

John’s earlier experience as a Farm Consultant in the Whanganui District led him to believe that this area would be most suitable for beekeeping, despite advice from some to the contrary. 

Michael and Melissa’s apiary sites are spread from coastal plains, up river valleys and into the hill country giving honeys of unique flavours varying from year to year with the interaction of climate on nectar sources.

Another highlight of our business is hosting groups of all ages, including international students, for teaching and interactive learning about all aspects of beekeeping. Contact us to arrange your group visit.

Our Learning Centre is also base for a thriving Wanganui Beekeepers Club which meets here every second Wednesday evening of the month. At 7pm a beginners workshop is held in the shop followed by the main club meeting at 7:30pm.

The next generation. Selling at the Whanganui River Markets with Michael’s kids.