HONEY & BEEKEEPING
WA’s forest honey is world renowned and highly sought after but logging and burning are reducing apiarists’ sites and climate change is impacting on flowering times making it increasingly difficult for beekeepers to keep up supply.
Jarrah honey is known for its strong, rich flavour and is increasingly in popularity overseas as well as domestically. A high demand from China is resulting in increased exports but it is difficult for producers to lock in supply contracts because of problems with access to sufficient, reliable sites for their bees in the jarrah forests. Link
“Jarrah honey is in short supply because of the diminishing forest reserves, unpredictable climate, dieback and wildfires. Jarrah honey is highly sought after by Western Australian Beekeepers who are finding it increasingly difficult to harvest. Continuing clearing of Jarrah trees in WA forests coupled with high fuel costs contribute to production difficulties. Jarrah flowers are produced in profusion every second year if temperatures exceed 25˚C with adequate rainfall.” Link
Jarrah honey has been demonstrated to be one of the most powerful medicinal honeys. It has high antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial properties. An extensive study of 477 honey samples, derived from both native and exotic species growing in various regions around Australia, found that honey derived from Jarrah, Marri and Jellybush had exceptional antimicrobial activity. Link
Karri trees only flower every 7 – 10 years, making karri honey difficult to produce. Karri honey has a light flavour and beautiful amber colour and is attractive for its rarity and the strong association people have with karri forests.
"The karri trees have a reputation; it's a majestic forest and they're majestic trees and they produce this amazing honey," Mike Spurge, beekeeper.
Exceptional flowering this year has been excellent for karri honey production. Experienced beekeeper Mike Spurge says that the various pressures on the forests have reduced flowering over the 50 years his family has been involved in the industry. Link
“Beekeeping is one of the most sustainable industries, but by constantly burning and logging this resource, the State Government is jeopardising this small but important and valuable industry.” (Countryman, 22nd September, 2016)