Producing Honey - Amazing Bees | Melbourne Australia

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Producing Honey - Our Bees and us at work
Isn't it a fascinating thought, that by placing a beehive in your backyard you would get a supply of honey for your family and friends?

And that can be quite true, it all depends how much and for how long nectar is available within a radius of three kilometers.

Honeybees collect nectar from flowering plants and transform it to Honey.

We do the rest to get the jar of honey for your breakfast table.

Relocating our bees when necessary
Bees store honey as their food reserve and only when they have stored excessive amounts some honey can be taken off. There are circumstances though when the supply of nectar and pollen is barely sufficient to keep the bees alive. Beekeepers then have to intervene and relocate the hives to places with sufficient nectar and pollen.

Around the Dandenong ranges, our home location, the native flora, mostly Eucalypt trees, is not producing flowers with nectar and pollen every year and we have to move our bees to other locations where they can collect sufficient nectar and pollen and can hopefully also produce some surplus honey.

Over the years our bees have been producing very high quality honey from a variety of Eucalypt trees like River Red Gum, Yellow Box, Red Box, Grey Box, Stringybark and Messmate,  as well as Tea Tree and a mix of other native flora.

Our bees have been at work in areas near Cardinia water reservoir, Belgrave, Wonga Park, Kangaroo Ground, Christmas Hills, Heathcote, Yandoit, Yea, Tonimbuk, Neerim South, etc.

Bees are very susceptible to a variety of toxic chemicals like insecticides. In order to produce pristine honey, we are aiming to keep our honey-producing beehives  away from areas that might be affected by the use of chemicals, away from orchards, nurseries, crop farming, industrial sites and rubbish tips.

That's why we believe our honey can be classified as organic honey.

An impression of our bees' surroundings when at work has been captured in our Photo Gallery


From the comb into the jar
As long as nectar is available, bees collect it and transform it to honey. Providing enough storage space, the storage of honey can become quite extensive within a hive of honeybees.

Normally beekeepers only take out surplus honey, always leave enough honey in the hive for the bees to feed and survive.

To get the honey from the comb into the jar for your breakfast toast, we perform these steps:
  • Removing the thin layer of wax cappings by lifting it off with a decapping fork - we don't use heated knifes.
  • Extracting the honey by spinning the frames with comb in a honey extractor.
  • Straining the honey through a set of fine strainers to keep wax particles out.
  • Filling the strained honey into jars.

>>> into the jar
a jar of honey
From the comb >>>
Frame with a comb filled with honey

Raw Honey - cold extracted and cold strained
To preserve the beneficial substances contained in raw honey we practise cold extraction and cold filtering through a strainer .

At no time in the process our honey is heated or brought in contact with hot objects like decapping knifes.

The internal hive temperature of 35°C, controlled by the bees, is the highest temperature our honey ever gets exposed to.

To preserve the nutritional values of honey it should never be heated above 35°C. Excessive heat does have a detrimental effect on the nutritional value of honey. [more]

We practise cold filtering through a fine strainer - resulting in raw honey with fine particles of pollen and wax, proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

Raw Honey from mother nature's kitchen as intended.


Classification by processing
Most commonly, honey is bottled in its familiar liquid form in jars or honey buckets. However, honey is sold in other forms, and can be subjected to a variety of processing methods as outlined in Wikipedia

The statement "cold extracted honey" is meaningless.

All extracted honey is extracted cold, at room temperature.
If heated, the combs would melt down or get damaged during the extraction process.

What makes the difference is what happens with the honey after it has been extracted from the comb!

When honey is processed in commercial quantities, in order to process it time efficiently and prevent/delay crystallisation after bottling, it is necessary to heat the honey up to 66-77°C. The heated honey liquefies and can be filtered and processed much faster; the end product is called "Filtered Honey" as you mostly find it on supermarket shelfs..

We produce "Raw Honey" or "Strained Honey" as we do not want to remove or destroy all beneficial substances.


Photo Gallery
The following photos give an impression of our bees' surroundings when at work.

Below: Hives in Belgrave South, our bee nursery
Hives in Belgrave South
Below: Our Hives out in the bush near Heathcote
Hives in Haethcote
Below: Our Hives producing honey from Greybox Eucalypts
Hives on Greybox
Below: River Red Gum along the Goulburn river near Yea
River Red Gum
Below: Hive inspection
Hive inspection
Below: Hives near Cardinia Reservoir - ready for winter
Hives reday for winter
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