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Little current information is available on the introduction of honey bees into Fiji. The best
thats currently available is the assumption that bees were introduced in the middle of the
nineteenth century by European missionaries. A current web page 1 of the Secretariat of the
Pacific Community states European missionaries probably first introduced honey bees into
the Pacific in the mid 19th century. Early attempts to establish national apiculture industries
were largely unsuccessful until the 1970s when projects were initiated in Niue, Papua New
Guinea, Samoa and Fiji. Such conjecture about 19th century events is not all that improbable
for there are several records of missionary attempts, some successful, to take bees to the
Pacific.
V The Rev. John Hewgill Bumby, a Wesleyan missionary headed from England for the
far north of New Zealand in September 1838, 2 was accompanied aboard the G by
his sister Mary Anna and her hive of bees.
V Church of England missionary Rev. William Charles Cotton attempted to take hives
of bees to the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, in December 1841. He eventually
succeeded through the help of his friend James Busby to introduce some hives from
Sydney in August 1843.
V The Rev. Petit Jean, a Catholic missionary based in the Bay of Islands, returned from
Sydney with a general cargo of donations aboard the brig G in September 1842. 3
V The Melbourne , 18 June 1861, (p.7c) in a short entry mentions a Mr Buzacott
of the G
   who took one hive from Melbourne to Sydney. This was, to be
forwarded to the South Sea Islands the following year. 4 Reverend Aaron Buzacott of
the London Missionary Society was a pioneer missionary of Rarotonga in the Cook
Islands. 5

The London Missionary Societys barque G


  

1
spc.int/rahs/Projects/Apiculture1E.htm (as of June 2010 this web site is being reconstructed so this
link is not currently active)
2
Barrett, Alfred (1853, 2 nd. ed.)    G
         



     


 
. John Mason, London
3
Stevenson, Bruce (May 1996) In Search of Father Petitjeans Bees, Early History of New Zealand
Beekeeping,  
 , May 1996
4
Refer also G
      
 


for 18 Feb 1862.
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