Sunshine Coast business wants native honey to go worldwide –
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.