Hive Haven are a fantastic example of how an innovative mindset and the right support can turn a simple idea into a profitable niche business.
When Jeff and Ann Ross stumbled across a colony of bees in the wall of their mechanical workshop in 2011, rather than calling a pest service, they coaxed the bees into a box – a decision that led them on their almost decade-long innovation journey.
By June 2015, this savvy couple had developed a concept hexagonal stingless bee box which was put on display at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Innovation Centre, enabling native beekeepers, scientists, and engineers to contribute valuable knowledge to ongoing product development.
Nowadays, this Sunshine Coast startup are building a commercial future for the Australian stingless native bee with their award-winning, industry specific hive assembly, that’s capable of producing a range of native bee products, native honey, and pollination – the revolutionary V9 Native Bee Box.
The Hive Haven V9 Native Bee Box is the first native bee box to include a 70 mm hollow insulation cavity that can be filled with either a liquid or soft solid insulator. Smart technology also enables the hive temperature to be recorded. This innovative, world-first product has created a massive industry shift, impacting the shape, function and thermal ability of native beehives, providing an industry under threat from climatic changes, with a modern and effective solution.
Hive Haven Founder Ann Ross said support from Advance Queensland has been imperative to their continued success.
“Funding from the Ignite Ideas Fund has enabled us to manufacture the Hive Haven V9 Native Bee Box which is specifically designed to alleviate hive overheating.
“It has also helped us scale up our local manufacturing and generate more local employment,” Ann said.
“The networking and learning opportunities offered by the Advance Queensland initiative has also been incredible for our business.
“We have built a better company by tapping into the ACE Network and participating in the Mentoring for Growth and Female Founders programs.
“When I travel to other Australian states and talk to startups, they are always aware of our thriving startup ecosystem and the support that Queensland businesses are provided through government grants, mentoring and networking opportunities – and it makes us feel so grateful for the support we have received.”
When asked where she hopes to see the Queensland innovation ecosystem in the next five years, Ann had this to say.
“When times are tough, innovation is at its best, as people solve problems, become more efficient, and hopefully become less wasteful. In the next five years, I would love to see more innovation around agriculture and horticulture,” Ann said.
“We are so proud of being apiarists who have a passion for bees and smart farming technology. We have a vision to help farmers produce high value export quality products, whilst safeguarding their pollination capacity.”