A Waikato honey apiary and honey business has been devastated by a massive fire that destroyed its main factory.
The fire broke out at Bees Inn Apiaries on West Rd in Ohaupo, south-west of Hamilton, just after 11pm on Wednesday.
Fire and Emergency assistant area commander for Waikato Mark Tinworth said the building was well ablaze when crews arrived and it took around two hours to get under control.
"Because of the structure, and how it collapsed, we couldn't commit firefighters inside the building, so there was burning debris you couldn't reach with a hose," he said.
He said firefighters from across the Waikato worked through the night.
"We had eight appliances and four water tankers, and about 45 staff, it was a great combined effort," Tinworth said.
Bees Inn is a family owned and run business which supplies honey across New Zealand and for the export market.
Son Keith West, who lives on site, said it was shocking to see the blaze.
"I had no idea, by the time I saw the blaze the fire brigade was here," he said.
He said with the factory destroyed, it is a difficult time.
"We have to wait for the fire service to do their thing and for the insurance company to do their thing."
He said there were around 3000 boxes of honey ready to be to be processed inside the factory.
Fire crews remain at the site to dampen down hotspots and a fire investigator is looking into the cause.
Environment Waikato has been on site to assist with the runoff.