Alfa Honey Fruits Australia

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australian honey

The Beekeeping industry in Australia, a country of 25 million people living on 7.6 mill sq. km, is as unique as its flora and fauna. The work of the quarantine, sanitary and veterinary services make this country the only one free from the Varroa mite and all the problems caused by it. Other bee parasites and diseases, which require apiary keepers to use chemicals, are less spread on the Australian continent than in other countries. And the problem of using pesticides is less persistent than in other developed countries. Also there are no Africanized honey bees in Australia.

The first Apis mellifera bees were brought to the Australian continent in 1822 by the settlers from England. Before that local plants were pollinated by 200 kinds of native insects, birds and animals. Interestingly the first world bee reserve was created in Australia – in 1884 bees noted for their peaceful nature and high productivity were brought to Kangaroo Island from the Italian province of Liguria.

The little workers got acclimatized and started to reproduce quickly in the new environment; so much so that, in 1885, a ban was imposed on the importation of any more bees and bee products. As a result Australian honey bees are not affected by any of the diseases found in bees in other parts of the world.

Australian honeys too are without any equal. They have a unique taste, completely different from any others.

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are unique creatures, not only because of their way of living and social order, but also because of the role they play in nature and in the life of humans. Did you know that in order to collect 1 kg of honey, a bee has to visit near 10 million melliferous flowers, carry 120-150 thousand loads of nectar to a beehive (a bee can carry to a beehive 20-30 mg in one go) and travel from 360 to 450 thousand kilometers in order to collect only1 kg of honey, i.e. equal to flying round the Earth’s equator 8, 5-11 times.

Honey is the most common, international product, welcome on the tables of the wealthy and the poor.

Honey bee products are uniquely beneficial to humans.

In Russia honey is the most precious and royal gift. It used to be presented, along with sable fur, to oversea guests to win favor and strengthen friendships.

Honey has been used to improve human health for centuries. Once you try it and come to love it; you will realise that honey is the finest delicacy and the best medicine provided by nature itself.

Australian Eucalyptus Honeys

Alfa Honey-Fruits Australia (AHFA) Australian Eucalyptus Honey is produced by Australian bees of Italian descent. AFHA sources its honey from a variety of eucalyptus trees in remote, pollution-free areas of virgin Australian bush. Bees flock to the eucalyptus blossoms and make a distinctive and delicious honey from them.

The taste of eucalyptus honey is as clean, fresh and unique as the Australian environment itself. Eucalyptus honey is smooth-flavoured with a characteristic pleasant aroma, and mild sweetness. Slow to granulate it makes the best natural sweetener and conserve.

Australian Eucalyptus honeys are a high-calorie food which is easily digested and highly restorative. There are differences in the GI between the floral varieties of honey, and research shows that different honeys can have significantly different effects on blood glucose and insulin levels, due to differences in digestion inside our body. Eucalyptus honeys with low GI, are suitable for consumption, in controlled amounts, by diabetics.

AFHA eucalyptus honey is a supreme world-class honey which retains its natural goodness, just as the bees produced it. From the consumers’ point of view, it is important to know the source of the honey and which floral varieties are known to have low to moderate GI. The composition of commercial honey blends vary, depending on the availability of honeys in a particular season, and they should be treated with caution if the varieties that have gone into the blend are unknown.

AFHA Monofloral Honey

Monofloral honey is produced predominantly from the nectar of one plant species, and is highly sought after because of its distinctive flavour. For a honey to be considered monofloral, at least 75% of the nectar must be gathered from one species source.

While no honey can be guaranteed absolutely monofloral, honeys can be produced that are almost 100% pure due to the prodigious nectar production of a particular species of flower or because beehives are kept in areas where the bees access only one type of flower.

AFHA monofloral eucalyptus honeys are sourced from species such as Yellow Box, Blue Gum, River Red Gum, Ironbark, Jarrah, Karri, Wandoo or White Gum, Blackbutt and Salvation Jane.

AFHA Rare Eucalyptus honey is between 75% and 90% monofloral

AFHA Exclusive Eucalyptus honey is up to 90% monofloral

AFHA Leatherwood honey is considered a delicacy among monofloral honeys. It is sourced from the wildflower nectar of leatherwood trees in Tasmania. AFHA Leatherwood honey is 90% monofloral.

All AFHA monofloral honeys are kept in separate tanks and labeled separately.

AFHA Polyfloral Honey

Polyfloral honey is produced when bees have collected nectar from many types of plants. AFHA Premium Australian Eucalyptus honey is polyfloral honey sourced only from the wildflower nectar of a range of Australian eucalyptus tress.

Australian Bees

Australia has over 1,500 species of native bee. Social species of Australian native bees do produce honey, but not much, as they are relatively primitive bee species. In cool-climate areas of Australia, all the honey the bees produce is needed by the swarm to live through winter. Most native Australian bees are solitary, but some live collectively in hives and produce honey. Before English colonisation, honey had a well-developed and extremely important place in the food economy of indigenous Australians. Many writers testify to the importance of native bees and their honey to the Aborigines. The genus was probably Trigona, a bee which lives in colonies in tree hollows.

Sometimes called a mosquito bee, it is black and small, the size of a bush fly, and does not sting. Around a litre of honey could usually be retrieved from a hive of an Australian Trigona.

The common honey bee was introduced to Australia from Europe. European honeybees were not brought to Australia until the 1820s, over three decades after the arrival of The First Fleet. Imports of bees had previously been made, but they had died.

English colonists also took honey bees to New Zealand. English honey bees were prone to anger, aggression and theft and they clashed with Australian native honeybees. The immigrant bees were larger, stronger and more deadly. By 1850, the decline of the native bee was observable. European and Aborigines believed that English bees were less efficient at pollinating native plants, and that the vegetation in the bush was changing as a result.

In 1884 bees noted for their peaceful nature and high productivity were brought to Kangaroo Island from the Italian province of Liguria. The Italian bees rapidly became acclimatised and reproduced quickly in the new environment; so much so that to protect the purity of the Ligurian bee species, in 1885, a ban was imposed on the importation of any more bees or bee products. In this way the first world bee reserve was created in Australia, and, as a result, Australian honey bees are not affected by any of the diseases found in bees in other parts of the world. The bees used in the Australian honey industry (lingustica) are descendants of these original bees. This bee builds up rapidly in the hive and is capable of rearing broods late into the honey season.

In Tasmania, the bees venture out from the hive to forage on Leatherwood blossoms. Foraging distance is influenced by many factors, one of which is energy expenditure. The further away from the hive a bee ventures when foraging, the more energy it expends therefore there is a point at which the bee actually expends more energy flying than it does collecting nectar.

Approximate foraging distances for Leatherwood nectar is a 3km radius from the hive. Other factors which influence foraging behaviour are temperature, humidity, day length and topography. Bees will not forage in extremely cold or hot temperatures, when it is raining, or in the dark. They also seem to dislike flying over ridges.