Demand for honey surges
But it’s not all good news for beekeepers
CONCERNS over the purity of honey being sold at Australian supermarkets has people swarming to local beekeepers, according to a Sippy Downs apiarist.
Grant Eisenmenger keeps his own hives and sells his Bee Chillin honey at some shops and markets on the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Eisenmenger said in the past week he had received between 30–40 calls or messages from people wanting to buy honey following allegations published by Fairfax Media and the ABC that claimed some of the biggest honey brands in Australia had been selling blended honeys containing sugar, rice and beet syrups.
“It’s got people concerned over what they are buying when they go to the supermarket,” he said.
While the spike in interest has been good for his business, the Sippy Downs resident said it could have a negative impact on commercial beekeepers who supplied honey to the major brands.
“It’s great for the little guys like me, who are just doing it on a small scale and selling locally,” he said.
“But I have friends who are commercial beekeepers and they have contracts to supply the big brands with honey and I’m worried it could impact them.”
Mr Eisenmenger said if people stopped buying the big brands it could mean commercial beekeepers lost contracts they relied on to make a living.
“The people out there producing the honey haven’t done anything wrong. They are selling pure honey to these companies. They have no control over what happens once they’ve sold it,” he said.
Mr Eisenmenger said he believed the allegations brought forward the need to better regulate the honey industry.
“I think there needs to be a way to regulate honey so that it’s labelled correctly,” Mr Eisenmenger said.
❝It’s got people concerned over what they are buying...
— Grant Eisenmenger
SWEET SURPRISE: Beekeeper Grant Eisenmenger has fielded plenty of inquiries recently.