De­mand for honey surges

But it’s not all good news for bee­keep­ers

Central Queensland News - - RURALWEEKLY - Danielle Ford Danielle.Ford@sc­news.com.au

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

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

SWEET SUR­PRISE: Bee­keeper Grant Eisen­menger has fielded plenty of inquiries re­cently.

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