|'The Lord inspired the Bee to dwell in the
Fields, to lodge in Trees, in Hives, and
to eat all sorts of Fruits, it produceth
Honey of divers colours that
serveth for a remedy to
the diseases of Men.'
Trans. by Alexander Ross 1649
The Alcoran of Mahomet
The Chapter of the Bee
|ABOUT US||CONTACT US|
|MALFROY'S GOLD - WILD HONEY & HONEYCOMB
|Above photo © Michael Wee|
|See what others think about Malfroy's Gold Honey, Honeycomb & Beeswax: MEDIA-AWARDS-TESTIMONIALS|
|Honey is a perfect food in its natural and wild state.
We assist our bees to produce this Wild Honey naturally by allowing them to draw their own comb. This comb is made from the virgin wax they produce themselves during ‘honey flows’, a term used to describe a seasonal abundance of nectar.
Wild honey is superior to all other honeys as it captures the unique terroir of the region in which it has been produced, is bee-friendly and ultimately more natural than other commercially available honey because the comb is produced entirely by the bees. In contrast, most commercially available honey has been produced from re-used or plastic combs and has been homogenised, micro-filtered, and pasteurised, thereby losing all discernible
taste and health benefits. In addition, some of the practises common to modern conventional beekeeping, whether ‘certified’ organic or not,
are in our opinion detrimental to bees and deeply unsustainable.
Since 2006 we have been practising Natural Beekeeping and artisan honey production in the hope of restoring bees to their former vitality and honey
to its former glory as Nature’s sweet healer.
To our knowledge we are the only professional beekeepers in Australia keeping bees in accordance with the International Demeter Standards for Beekeeping.
All our honey is produced in permanent small apiaries located in isolated wilderness or woodland areas over a 160km range throughout the
Blue Mountains and Central Tablelands of NSW, Australia.
When we harvest the full boxes of honey (always taking care to leave enough for
the bees) we first select the best combs to be cut into pieces and sold as pure
Honeycomb. The remaining comb is cold pressed, strained and bottled.
This is the closest form of honey to that harvested from a wild nest of bees.
We strain our honey through coarse organic cotton cloth at room temperature
then bottle the honey. On particularly cold days, we gently warm the honey to
beehive temperature (35°C) to bottle.
Our seasonal honey varieties can be classed as either:
~ Mono-floral (Single Floral Source i.e. Pure Yellowbox)
~ Poly-floral (Mixed Floral Source i.e. Blue Mountains Wildflower)
We believe it is the birthright of bees to draw their own comb.
Bees spend at least 90% of their lives on the comb inside the hive and the comb itself is a multi-functional
living space. The bees use comb to raise brood, store food and communicate amongst many other functions
integral to the life of the colony.
Despite the importance of virgin comb to bees, the standard method used by beekeepers is to economise this
natural process by giving the bees re-used frames of drawn comb from previous seasons or ‘foundation’.
Foundation is sheets of beeswax or plastic with embossed hexagonal cell size patterns which give the bees a
uniform cell size and starter for their wax-building. Although this usually results in a larger honey harvest, the bees cannot communicate as effectively in this system and are unable to construct, modify, or renew their living quarters. Unfortunately, some beekeepers use chemicals to treat pests and diseases in their hives. Given that beeswax is a highly absorbative substance there is great potential for chemical residue to build up in the comb over time.
Additionally, if bees are located on agricultural sites and visiting conventional crops, there is a high risk they could be carrying toxic chemicals back to the hive which are also absorbed in the beeswax. This results in sub-lethal effects on the bees and toxic residues in the honey products. A scoping study in the US in 2010 found a staggering 121 pesticides and metabolites in beeswax samples.
To make matters worse, the beeswax harvested from hives is sold to beeswax processors and re-distributed
throughout the beekeeping industry in the form of foundation, leading to the further spread of chemical residues.
A feedback loop is formed with cumulative sub-lethal effects on bees, often resulting in drone infertility,
failing queens and tainted honey.
In our attempt to keep bees naturally and mimic the workings of a wild bee colony, we let our bees draw
their own comb. The comb in the hive is constantly renewed, and is always pure. Our hives are placed in
wilderness locations, far from conventional crops, orchards, urban centres and other beekeepers.
Therefore we can guarantee that our honey is not only pure and free from chemicals, but also
minimises stress on the bees and prevents disease and chemical build-up in the hive.
Because we do not ‘trigger’ the bees to artificially over-produce honey for our own benefit and because
the bees must build the combs anew every time rather than merely depositing and ripening nectar in
re-used combs, we have experienced a 70% drop in honey production and yield per hive.
Our focus is firmly on quality rather than quantity, and if the result of this method is
content and resilient bees then we are happy with a smaller harvest.
'The comb and the wax
from which it is
constructed are not only
entirely produced by the
bees, but also an inseparable
part of their lives.'
As a natural food, honey has no equal. It is our belief that honey surpasses wine, olive oil and cheese in its reflection of terroir. A great winemaker
will have 30 or 40 years of experience, whereas bees have 30 or 40 million
years of experience gathering nectar and making honey! Each jar of honey
is a snapshot of over a million flowers; a result of nectar gathered feverishly
and ferried back to the glowing hive where it is miraculously transmuted. Each season and each region produces a unique honey. It is our job to
treat the harvest with care and respect, and do nothing to hamper the expression of terroir.
All of our apiaries are located at altitudes ranging from 700m to 1100m,
where the bees enjoy warm, mild summers and cool winters.
The average day temperature during summer is 20-24°C and 8-10°C
during the winter months. Temperature extremes range from 40°C in the
height of summer to -10°C in winter. The higher altitudes also experience
a few snowfalls each year, with rainfall evenly spread throughout the year, ranging from 600-700mm/year in the Central Tablelands to 1500mm/year
in the upper Blue Mountains.
The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area incorporates
over 1,000,000 hectares including 550,000 hectares of wilderness.
The area received world heritage status on 29 November 2000 for its diversity of Eucalypts and refugia of ancient plant communities
including the Wollemi Pine. The area is also noted for its superlative beauty characterised by the blue haze of Eucalypts set against the dramatic contrast of the world's finest display of sandstone plateaus, which tell the story of all aspects of the earth’s evolution. Rich in cultural heritage, the area is the birthplace of the conservation movement in Australia and the traditional land of
6 aboriginal language groups.
The Eucalypt forest communities of the region are the most
diverse and intact scleromorphic (hard-leaved) forests in the
Earth's temperate zone. They range from the tall open forests
of the high tops and deep valleys to open woodlands and mallee shrublands. These forests together with non-Eucalypt ecosystems including rainforests, heaths and wetlands protect a significant proportion of Australia's total biodiversity, which is unique and important on a global scale.
Our apiaries are located in isolated areas of the mid and upper
Blue Mountains on organic farms, permaculture properties and
gardens bordering the world heritage area. The hive numbers
are kept small at each apiary to minimise disturbance to the
local environment. For more information, please visit:
Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Experience
The Botanists Way
The Great Eastern Ranges Conservation Corridor Initiative
NSW Department of Environment
The Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute
|Central Tablelands (part of the Central West)|
The Central Tablelands of NSW are located just west of the
Blue Mountains and are part of the larger Central West region,
which covers 63,262 sq km.
It is the traditional land of the Wiradjuri people.
The tablelands and highlands area of the Central West is located
in the eastern section, at altitudes of 700-1300m, and features
large areas of remnant forest and woodland, in contrast to the
other areas of the Central West which have been heavily cleared
for agriculture, forestry, urban development, and mining.
Our apiaries are located on large grazing properties bordering
extensive stands of Eucalypt forest and grassy woodland,
where the bees are able to forage on a number of Eucalypt
species, shrubs, and ground flora.
The main honey flows are produced from the Yellow Box Eucalyptus melliodora and Red Stringybark Eucalyptus macrorrhyncha trees, which supply an abundance of nectar
during flowering, every 2-4 years.
The Grassy or Box Gum Woodlands of the Central West
and other parts of Australia are listed as a threatened
For more information, please visit:
Grassy Box Woodlands Conservation Management Network
The Tablelands Way
|We practise zero-input natural beekeeping, so our yields are heavily dependent on seasonal conditions.
The Eucalypts that we rely on for
the majority of our harvest flower dynamically according to weather patterns, particularly changes in the Southern Oscillation Index
(otherwise known as the El Nino/La Nina effect).
Click here for an educational PDF about the SOI from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Throughout the history of mankind, honey has held an incredibly important
place in society for religious, medicinal, gastronomical and ceremonial
Although processed sugar has taken precedence over honey for everyday use
in most households, dozens of scientific papers are published each year that
validate the use of honey for nutritional and medicinal benefits. Please visit the
resources below if you are interested in accessing scientific papers regarding the unique properties of honey.
Raw honey and honeycomb are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins,
unique aromas, and contain more than 200 natural substances, some of
which do not occur elsewhere. Each variety of honey has unique properties,
and can enhance energy, soothe digestion, aid sleep, heal wounds, cure sore
throats and colds, and provide relief from hayfever.
|Recent studies have found incredibly high levels of beneficial bacteria in honey harvested from wild colonies of bees, thereby confirming scientifically what traditional cultures have understood intuitively - that wild honey is nature’s supreme healer.
This wild honey also has a flavour quite unlike any store bought honey - traditional honey hunters scale trees and cliffs and risk their lives to collect it, so it must be special!
Unfortunately, the vast majority of commercially available honey is a shadow of its former glory. Most shop honey has gone through many stages of heating during extraction, storage, transit, re-heating and bottling. This is not to mention micro-filtration, packing in plastic and exposure to various toxic chemicals in the field and in the hive.
In our attempt to provide the public with real wild honey and honeycomb from strong healthy colonies, we partner with some of Sydney’s finest chef’s and host honey degustation dinners a few times a year, usually in Autumn or Winter after the last honey harvest. These dinners and events offer a taste of what real wild honey is and how it can be used.
Please sign up to our Newsletter to be notified of upcoming events.
|ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY|
|At all times we attempt to operate in an ethical and sustainable manner. Please read over the contents of this website for information about how we produce honey. For information about how we keep bees please visit http://www.naturalbeekeeping.com.au.
For more information about Ethics and Sustainability, please see our Resources section below for a list of readings, PDF’s and links.
|B.F.Beck & Dorée Smedley
||Honey and Your Health
||Eva Crane||A Book of Honey|
||Two Million Blossoms-Discovering the Medicinal
Benefits of Honey
|ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY|
||The Bee-friendly Beekeeper : A sustainable approach
||The One Straw Revolution|
|Bill Mollison & David Holmgren
||Permaculture One : A Perennial Agriculture for
||A Sand County Almanac|
||Permaculture : Principles & Pathways
||The Future Eaters|
|Free PDF Articles|
|Erik Berrevoets||Making a Case for Natural Comb-Ripened Honey
and Artisan Beekeeping Practices
|Various||Symbionts as Major Modulators of Insect Health: Lactic Acid Bacteria and Honeybees|
|Various||Characterization of the Active Microbiotas Associated with Honey Bees Reveals Healthier and Broader Communities when Colonies are Genetically Diverse|
|ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY|
|Bees For Development||Extensive Beekeeping||David Heaf||Towards Sustainable Beekeeping|
|Lund University Bee Research
|.||Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC)||//||http://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/collections/hbe|
|ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY|
|Food Ethics Council - Farming Animals for Food - Towards a Moral Menu
|Ethics in Food and Agriculture, Food & Agriculture Organisation of the
|ABN 79 921 638 711© MALFROY'S GOLD|