Sun­shine Coast busi­ness wants na­tive honey to go world­wide –

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - Front Page - Matty Holdsworth news@ru­ral­

ANNE Ross wants a bee hive in ev­ery Sun­shine Coast back­yard. And the Hive Haven man­ag­ing di­rec­tor’s grand plans are on the cusp of be­com­ing a re­al­ity.

The Sun­shine Coast busi­ness is set to trans­form na­tive bee honey from a cot­tage in­dus­try into a sus­tain­able ex­port mar­ket with fund­ing from the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment’s Ad­vance Queens­land Ig­nite Ideas Fund.

Min­is­ter for In­no­va­tion Leeanne Enoch said the Beerburrum busi­ness would re­ceive $99,918 in fund­ing.

It will use it to man­u­fac­ture its in­no­va­tive stin­g­less na­tive bee hive, in­ves­ti­gate a method for sta­bil­is­ing stin­g­less na­tive honey for lo­cal and ex­port com­mer­cial use, and ex­plore agri-busi­ness scal­a­bil­ity for na­tive bee farm­ing.

“For thou­sands of years, Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ple have col­lected stin­g­less na­tive honey as both a food and medicine source,” Ms Enoch said.

“Now with the Euro­pean honey bee in rapid de­cline, na­tive stin­g­less bees are in­creas­ingly seen as the fu­ture of food crop pol­li­na­tion.

“Through the fund­ing, we are pro­vid­ing in­no­va­tive busi­nesses like Hive Haven with the fi­nan­cial sup­port to take their clever ideas to the next level.”

Ms Ross said the fund­ing would en­able the com­pany to scale up na­tive honey pro­duc­tion lev­els and take a step to­wards its dream.

“We are ex­cited to be build­ing a com­mer­cial fu­ture for Aus­tralian stin­g­less na­tive bees,” Ms Ross said.

“The Queens­land cli­mate lends it­self to na­tive honey pro­duc­tion and pol­li­na­tion.

“Na­tive bee farm­ing is a grow­ing agri-busi­ness that lends it­self to both ru­ral and ur­ban set­tings through­out many re­gions of Queens­land.”

Na­tive honey has a dis­tinc­tive eu­ca­lyp­tus and tangy lemon flavour.

Ms Ross said Hive Haven would work with Univer­sity of Queens­land re­searchers to re­duce the water con­tent of na­tive honey to sta­bilise its shelf life to im­prove its ap­peal as an ex­port prod­uct.

She said Hive Haven would also work with re­searchers from the Queens­land Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in tem­per­a­ture test­ing, to de­ter­mine how to keep it be­low 40 de­grees in the hives to pre­serve the in­tegrity of the colony.

“Na­tive bee prod­ucts will cre­ate em­ploy­ment in re­search, the ex­port sec­tor and food and med­i­cal in­dus­tries,” Ms Ross said.

“Our first goal is to see Aus­tralian stin­g­less na­tive honey on the menu of not only our finest restau­rants here in Aus­tralia, but through­out Asia as well.

“We will con­tinue to build our prod­uct port­fo­lio and ex­pand our re­search to value add the ben­e­fi­cial prop­er­ties of Aus­tralian stin­g­less na­tive honey.”

The Ig­nite Ideas Fund is part of the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment’s $420 mil­lion Ad­vance Queens­land ini­tia­tive de­signed to de­velop new prod­ucts and cre­ate jobs.


BUSY BEE: Ann Ross of Hive Haven is work­ing to­wards a com­mer­cial fu­ture for Aus­tralian stin­g­less na­tive bees.

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