Beechworth Honey Experience is a free educational honey tour and concept store located in Beechworth, Victoria (just 39km south-west of Wodonga and 284km north-east of Melbourne), a town where Jodie Goldsworthy’s family has produced honey for four generations.
“Beechworth Honey has quickly grown to become one of Australia’s iconic honey brands. Sourced from apiarists across the country, Beechworth Honey is positively absolutely 100% Australian honey…always.”
Beechworth Honey contain an extensive selection of honeys that can be taste tested at this location. Interestingly, just like wine or coffee, honeys vary in flavour and aroma. Depending on the flowers that the bees use to collect the honey from, different varieties have very distinct flavours. Varieties available from Beechworth include:
- Classic range: classic blend of Australian honey.
- Eucalypt range: including Red Gum, Yellow Box and Iron Bark varieties
- Premium and Creamy range: a range of other Australian varieties, some of which have been whipped to create a creamy texture and others that have be combined with great complementary flavours including macadamias, ginger and fruits.
- Other products: Including nectars, beauty products, gifts, hampers and beeswax candles.
The 25 minute video tour situated at the centre is an opportunity to view the process of honey production- from bee to plate. This self-guided tour commence every 10 minutes between 9am-5pm, 7 days a week (with the exception of Christmas Day).
When we visited Beechworth Honey during January, we were able to taste the range (and meet some honey bees in the process) and picked up a Creamy Honey and Lemon Myrtle and a mixed pack of 14g honey sachets (including Blue Gum Honey, Iron Bark Honey, Red Gum Honey, Yellow Box Honey and the Classic Honey varieties), a selection that will be great for camping and hiking.
While honey is delicious to eat, the importance of honey bees in our food system extends further than this sweet liquid. In 2014, the increase in heatwaves, bushfires and droughts, caused a 50-90% production loss with beekeepers and this can affect more than the honey supply. According to the Wheen Bee Foundation– an Australian charity aimed at raising awareness of the importance of bees for food security, as well as raising funds for research projects that will address the national and global threats to bees:
“Two thirds of Australia’s agricultural output is dependent on honey bees! Numerous studies show that the addition of bees at a time when plants are flowering significantly increases both the yield and quality of crops. Honey and other hive products generate around $90 million a year in Australia, but the contribution of honey bees to crop production is estimated to be around $4-6 billion a year”
Honey bees and other pollinators are under threat worldwide for a number of reasons, including:
- Honey bee diseases and pests
- Habitat destruction
- The use of agricultural chemicals which can be highly toxic to bees
- A decline in commercial beekeeping
So not only is it important to support the your local honey bee industry, but also look at ways you can support the production of pesticide-free foods (through buying pesticide-free or organic foods) or just planting flowers native to your own country and local area will help to give bees a place to eat.
Visit www.beechworthhoney.com.au for more information about Beechworth Honey, where to buy it, or to shop for products online.
*Yes, yes, I know. Honey is effectively sugar and too much can cause unhealthy weight gain in adults. Draft recommendations released by the World Health Organisation in 2014 suggested dropping its sugar intake recommendations from 10% of your daily energy intake to 5%. For an adult of a normal body mass index (BMI), that works out to about 6 teaspoons (or 25 grams) of sugar per day. Bottom line: it’s ok to eat just don’t eat too much.