Pitcairn Island: Where only the birds and the bees stayed pure
In 1998, the UK Government aid agency, the Department for International Development, funded an apiculture program for Pitcairn which included training for Pitcairn’s beekeepers and a detailed analysis of Pitcairn’s bees and honey with particular regard to the presence or not of disease.
Pitcairn, it was discovered, has one of the best examples of disease-free bee populations anywhere in the world and the honey produced was and remains exceptionally high in quality. Pitcairn bees were also found to be a particularly placid variety and, within a short time, the beekeepers were able to work with them wearing minimal protection. As a result, Pitcairn today exports its renowned honey to New Zealand and to the United Kingdom, where it is stocked in London by Fortnum and Mason and Partridges in Sloane Square. The honey has become a favorite of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.
The Pitcairn Islanders, under the “Bounty Products” and “Delectable Bounty” brands, also export dried fruit including bananas, papayas, pineapples and mangoes to New Zealand.
With only about 48 inhabitants (currently from four main families: Christian, Warren, Young, and Brown), Pitcairn is the least populous jurisdiction in the world. The United Nations Committee on Decolonisation includes the Pitcairn Islands on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
In 2004, charges were laid against seven men living on Pitcairn and six living abroad. After extensive trials the men were convicted, some with multiple counts of sexual attacks of children.
On 25 October 2004, six men were convicted, including Steve Christian, the island’s mayor at the time.
After the six men lost their final appeal, the British government set up a prison on the island at Bob’s Valley.
The men began serving their sentences in late 2006.
By 2010, all had served their sentences or been granted home detention status.
Children under the age of 16 years require a completed entry clearance application in order to visit the island.
- Chris Double: Back from Pitcairn Island (bluishcoder.co.nz)
- Stunning Cloud And Sunset Photos From The Pitcairn Islands (huffingtonpost.com)
- Pitcairn Islands Expedition Photos (huffingtonpost.com)
- Mike Fay’s Complete Pitcairn Islands Journal (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)
- Travelling to Pitcairn Island (bluishcoder.co.nz)
- Pitcairn Island to double bandwidth to 512kbps among 48 people (arstechnica.com)
- Mike Fay’s Pitcairn Journal: Attack of the Ferns (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)
- Chris Double: Pitcairn Island and Slow Internet (bluishcoder.co.nz)