The Kangaroo Island Ligurian Bee Co is a family owned and operated business based in Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. It was established by Peter Davis in 2001 as one of the first organic honey producers. Peter’s passion wasn’t restricted to just producing honey, he has always been keen to share his knowledge about beekeeping, to educate the community and visitors about the different varieties of honey and ways to protect the Ligurian bees on Kangaroo Island.
Originally called Island Beehive, the facility at Kingscote produces up to 90 tonnes of honey each year. Over 800 hives are moved around Kangaroo Island according to the flora and seasons.
In 2020, Peter’s son Brenton and his partner Verity purchased the business, with the aim to take their unique honey and stories to more people in more countries around the world.
The Ligurian Bee
Kangaroo Island is the oldest bee sanctuary in the world. Ligurian bees were bought to the island from Italy in 1881, and was declared a sanctuary in 1885. The bees were selected because of their mild temperament, gentleness and productivity. As Kangaroo Island is 20 kilometres off the coast of mainland Australia they have been protected from disease and breeding with other races of honey bee, as a consequence the Kangaroo Island Ligurian Bee is the purest strain of Ligurian bee remaining in the world.
Kangaroo Island itself is also unique. There are plants and trees on the island that don’t grow in any other place in the world. Over 40% of the island is composed of national parks and conservation areas, no genetically modified (GM) grains are allowed to be grown. The bees, flora and fauna live in one of the cleanest, unpolluted regions of the world.