SUNBIZ

The Beehive Is One Of Must-See Places In Fiji

Two parts to a car is what the owners of The Beehive best describe themselves. The Beehive is located on Wailevu Road, Nanuku, Rakiraki and is operated by the owners
05 Jan 2019 10:09
The Beehive Is One Of Must-See Places In Fiji
Suncoast members by the pool at The Beehive on Wailevu Road, Nanuku, Rakiraki. Photo: The Beehive

Two parts to a car is what the owners of The Beehive best describe themselves.

The Beehive is located on Wailevu Road, Nanuku, Rakiraki and is operated by the owners and operators Mark and Suzie Hirst Tuilau.

“We are what you can say are two parts to a car, one the steering and the other the engine,” Ms Tuilau said.

“We met nine years ago and decided we can stand each other enough to make a life together.

“Both born in Suva and both were always new kids as their parents travelled a lot.

“Mark was running the Naboro Landfills, Commodore at the Royal Suva Yatch Club and President for Fiji New Zealand Business Council while I was running around the country training bus drivers and operators on E-ticketing.

“We both decided we had enough of Suva and decided to take up a job in Nadi. Three weeks later, with most of our boxes still unpacked he was asked to move to Taveuni. I followed not long after and we loved it.

“We had a lot of hurdles working on a remote island, and losing our house to Tropical Cyclone Winston wasn’t even the worse part.

“After 26 months of cleaning up and renovating the former five-star resort where there was not much to do apart from dealing with the corporate side of things.

“Mark was the patient one always reminding me not to stress!

“It becomes a bigger challenge when language is a barrier and even bigger when you are given the job but no authority to do it.

“We spent Christmas on the main island and a good friend of ours saw the ad on the paper about an ex orphanage up for sale so we thought we’d take a peek.

“Almost two years now we have not regretted the decision we made.”

Below are excerpts of an interview:

 

1.Can you tell us a bit about your business?

We have five rooms, four of those rooms have built in beds so we run them as dorms. One private room. Both types of accommodation can sleep five if they are mum, dad and three kids.

We also have outdoor camping tents which can sleep six.

A fire-pit where you can sit around and watch the stars.

We have a bar and restaurant as well, you can also make your own BBQ with outdoor cooking facilities available.

We also have a bee farm and have the hives onsite.

We have tours where we can suit up the guest and have them watch the bees make our golden honey.

One of the best things about where we are is not only that Rakiraki is untouched but we are nestled in the cane-fields overlooking the sea with mountains behind us.

It’s a place for those who want simple things, to remind us of what we take for granted.

Getting away from concrete jungles and wet weathers and just chilling on the deck or cooling off in the pool.

 

2.What was the motivation for starting it?

When we first saw the place, Mark instantly saw what it could be.

December 2016 we came to view it, April 2017 we moved in and by June 2017 we were operating.

We already had done introductory course to Beekeeping, we both had some experience in Tourism and both wanted to get away from the busy life.

We were getting tired of packing and unpacking, the timing of how things played out couldn’t get any better.

The real motivation was that this was the retirement plan.

 

  1. What’s different about your business?

We’re the first agriculture tourism business because we operate as a working bee farm(Apiary) and homestay.

We are certified Fijian Organic and Fijian Grown and are aiming to increase the population of bees for food security.

We are not the fancy resorts, we have the little cosy home-stays where people can still feel comfortable enough as they are when they are home.

In three words : “Simple, Sweet and Subtle”

 

  1. What are your long term plans?

Increase our bee colonies and being able to educate people how essential bees are to humankind. If bees disappeared, it would only take four years for mankind to survive as 90 per cent of his fruit and vegetables are pollinated by bees.

We have discussed a few things on what we could do and have built the place to leave us open to options.

At the end of the day this is the retirement plan and we don’t plan on making it bigger as we want to maintain the quality of our lifestyle.

 

5.How do you split time between the businesses?

When people ask us how’s work our response is always “ we don’t see it as a job because we enjoy it”.

We are lucky enough to have our little family with us 24/7 reminding us not to stress and just breathe.

Between our three Maltese dogs and four mouse hunting cats, we are pretty occupied.

 

  1. What’s the hardest part about being in business?

It depends on which part of it, it’s never easy.

Stating is always the hardest but if you have the motivation and keep plugging away it finally comes together, just keep reminding yourself that everything takes time.

We have instances where guest don’t turn up and we’ve done the yards to make their stay cosy, or the odd days your staff don’t turn up.

It’s how you take it.

We choose not to die of stress, especially not in a place like this.

 

  1. What advice do you give to others thinking about starting a business?

Get good financial advice and have a good working business plan that covers any eventuality to do with finance.

Be patient as things are never always on time and do it right and not take shortcuts as they always come back and bite you.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 



FS JAB DRIVE


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