Our story

Tony Lorimer purchased Hillcrest Apiaries from his father, Dudley Lorimer. Tony has been engaged in beekeeping since his school days, mostly working during school holidays. He was paid for his work, enabling him to be one of the first in his class to own a bicycle with gears and a surfboard. Despite reaching retirement age, Tony remains active by continuing to work. You can meet him in person at the Honey shop at our Tamahere base, or when he is making deliveries to stores.

Jane Lorimer married the beekeeper, even though she initially had no intention of participating in the business. Her passion was animal research, and she had worked at the renowned Ruakura Research Centre in Hamilton. However, after Dudley broke his hip in an accident, Jane began assisting Tony in the business, and she never looked back. She became one of the first women in New Zealand to prove that women, too, could be beekeepers. All it takes is some different techniques and a fresh perspective on how to handle various beekeeping tasks. She adores the bees and enjoys witnessing the changes from season to season.

Our team

Samantha (Sam) and Luke are the two individuals you'll encounter most often at the Hamilton Farmers Market. We've given them the chance to refine their marketing skills with Sweetree's fine products. Both are young and eager for this role. As beekeepers, they work with hives to guarantee we harvest the finest honey for you.

Hayden, our longest-serving beekeeper, also handles some maintenance at our Honey House, where we extract and package our product. Therefore, you might encounter him there. An ex-dairy farmer, Hayden appreciates the variety that beekeeping offers.


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