Roy Paterson Trophy 

The Roy Paterson Trophy was established in recognition of beekeeping innovator Roy Paterson and his contribution to the New Zealand beekeeping Industry.

This annual award recognises the most innovative idea, invention or new piece of technology which has been designed to benefit beekeepers. Nominations for judging will be accepted from members of the industry, or from the individual or company who holds the rights to the innovation.

Entries close at 10am on Thursday 29 June 2023.


Roy Paterson served in the Second World War and on return, started beekeeping in the Oamaru area. He then moved to the West Coast as an Apiaries Inspector with the Department of Agriculture, transferring to Hamilton in 1936. A keen inventor with an engineering background, he spent a great deal of time designing equipment for mechanising the handling of honey in the honey house. This included honey warmers and immersion strainers with hot water jackets and a steam plant for a hand uncapping knife. He also designed and made float switches to operate in honey tanks and a safe use saw bench with beekeepers in mind.

Roy Paterson’s inquisitive mind led to the observation and subsequent confirmation around 1945, that the Tutu bush varieties – Coriaria arborea and Coriaria sarmentosa were a host plant for the Scolypopa Australis (the Passion Vine Hopper) and the source of toxic honeydew honey. The insect feeds on the sap from Tutu bush and secretes honeydew on to the leaves and branches of the bush; this contains the toxic substance tutin. The honeybee, particularly in very dry conditions, collects the honeydew as a nectar source and subsequently it finds it way in to honey destined for human consumption. This presents a health issue for people as tutin is a neurotoxin, so was a vital observation.

In recognition of his efforts and substantial contribution to beekeeping Roy was offered the position of Superintendent (DOA) in Wellington. However, wishing to remain in the Hamilton area, he declined the post and continued to work with and for beekeepers from the Waikato region. This included educational visits to schools, field-days and many community talks about bees and beekeeping.

The beautiful handcrafted timber trophy was made by John and Peter Berry from Arataki Honey, Hawke’s Bay.

Submit your innovation today.

Winner of 2021 Roy Paterson Trophy Ecrotek with Brett Hopwood of Pharmapac

Canterbury-based company fleece2fleece Ltd received the 2022 Roy Paterson Trophy for its Bees Neez Hive Nappy, a wool-based product that mitigates excess moisture in the hive.

A big thank you to the sponsor of the Roy Paterson Trophy: Pharmapac