When Leisa and Tony Sams purchased a farm and set about reconnecting bushland that had been divided for a century, they by no means imagined the place it will lead them.
Seven years later, they’re producing an award-winning vary of pure uncooked honey infused with flavours together with natural ginger, turmeric, lemon myrtle, rose petals, chilli, cinnamon, lavender, finger lime, vanilla beans, truffle, and black garlic.
“We really began not due to a want to have a honey enterprise,” Ms Sams stated.
“We did a Land for Wildlife undertaking on our 300 acres [121 hectares] at Peachester, on the Stanley River, with the aim of revegetating and securing a wildlife hall from our again ridgeline by means of to the river.
“With the assistance of a grant and Sunshine Coast Council’s setting officers we sat down and went, ‘Let’s take a look at pollination and doubtlessly getting some bees to assist with that’.”
‘Bee Woman’ begins a buzz
Ms Sams — also called “Bee Woman” — began with 5 hives and now tends to about 400 bee colonies rigorously positioned on properties from Gympie by means of to Noosa and the Sunshine Coast to Moreton Bay.
“We needed to do it otherwise as a result of we have been consuming it [the honey] and giving it to our household and mates,” she stated.
“So we do not use chemical substances, we do not warmth the honey and it principally grew from there.
“We’re bringing the flavours of the Sunshine Coast into our honey.
“Mike, my cousin, was our first buyer with a well being meals store.”
Now their chilly fusion merchandise are offered in unbiased supermarkets, grocers, natural entire meals outlets, butcheries and Yandina’s Ginger Manufacturing facility, the place employees have been the primary to encourage them to infuse their golden honey with pure flavours.
Meals security key
Licensed chemical-free edible flower grower Caz Owens hosts Hum Honey hives on her property at Eudlo and provides dried natural rose petals and petal mixes to the Samses.
“We love having Leisa’s bee women right here at our farm gardens — they’re treasures,” Ms Owens stated.
“With the present scenario of bee-killing varroa mites and potential mass lack of hives in Australia, it’s important to make sure we defend our surroundings.”
Extracting the honey chilly preserves pure vitamins, nutritional vitamins, enzymes, pollen and antioxidants.
No syrups or synthetic flavours are used.
“Our honey is bioactive, so even our customary eucalypt honey is stuffed with nice vitamins which can be efficient in opposition to micro organism and moulds and yeast,” Ms Sams stated.
“We additionally do manuka that we get examined by the Sunshine Coast College Honey Lab.”
When requested whether or not micro organism might be a priority with out pasteurisation, Ms Sams stated meals security was the very first thing she investigated.
“I went to JL Laboratories [an accredited food safety facility] proper throughout the highway from the Ginger Manufacturing facility and did micro-testing,” she stated.
“We’ve carried out all the shelf-life testing and we do this as a daily a part of our high quality assurance program.”
Love for a ‘powerful’ trade
The Samses are members of the area’s Meals and Agribusiness Community (FAN) — a not-for-profit trade group that fosters collaboration, innovation and drives commerce.
“I’ve the deepest respect for them,” chief government Emma Greenhatch stated.
“It is a powerful trade and beekeeping is especially difficult.
“Sure, they’ve their position to play as a person enterprise in sustainability, high quality and ethics, however Leisa is all the time taking a look at it from an trade perspective and the way she will switch what she’s studying to others.”
Final 12 months Ms Sams acquired a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship to analyze superior administration strategies for stationary beekeeping operations to enhance efficiencies and yield, and lately travelled to the UK to pursue her analysis.
“It has been a steep studying curve with hearth, drought, COVID lockdowns and floods. We’ve had some highs and lows,” Ms Sams stated.
“In the end you do that for the love of connecting with the setting and the networks inside the meals trade and the natural farmers. We have created some lasting friendships.”