Does the Beekeeper get stung often?

Out in the apiary beestings are expected.  We try to breed bees with a gentle temperament so they are not bad tempered when the hives are handled.  However, sometimes the bees are not happy that you are robbing their spoils and will manage to sneak a sting in even with protective gear on!

Where are The House of Honey’s bees?

We move our bees all over most of the South West of Western Australia to place our bees in the forests on where the trees are flowering.  We avoid areas with GM crops and pesticide sprays that are harmful to our bees.  In Winter we move the bees North for warmer conditions and they make our way down South following the flowering seasons of the trees.

How to store honey?

Store honey at room temperature – your kitchen counter or pantry shelf is ideal. Storing honey in the refrigerator accelerates the honey’s crystallization. If your honey crystallizes, simply place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve, or place the honey container into near boiling water that has been removed from the heat:

1. Bring a pan of water to a boil
2. Turn off the heat
3. Place the honey container in the water with cap open
4. Leave until both have cooled
5. Repeat as needed

Why do bees swarm and what to do if encountered?

A swarm of bees sometimes frightens people although the bees are usually not aggressive at this stage of their life cycle.  A swarm contains about 60% of the worker bees who leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarms mainly happen in spring and is the natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies.  The bees usually land on a tree nearby to the original colony.  They might stay a day while they secure a new home and then move on.

If you need to have the bees removed call one of the local beekeepers at the WA Apiarist Society to help you out.

Does honey have a use by date?

No, honey is the only food that does not spoil.  Bacteria cannot grow in honey so it lasts forever.  Honey has been found in the Egyptian tombs and was still edible 1000’s of years later.

How do bees communicate?

Bees are very social insects and hence require effective communication. A great Austrian Biologist born in 1886, Karl Von Frsich, who studied bees and found that they performed various dances to communicate food sources and other important matters. Some of the dances include:

  • The Round Dance - signals food within 100m by running in a narrow circle with short steps

  • The Waggle Dance - signals food outside 100m by making a narrow half circle to one side and then a sharp turn to repeat on the other side. The bee performs vigorous wiggling motions from side to side thus the name “wag-tail” or “waggle”

  • Cleaning Dance - rapid stamping of her feet in order for others to clean her

  • Joy Dance - when the hive is at an optimum. The bee places her legs on another bee and shakes 5 or 6 times before moving on to another

  • Alarm Dance - a zigzag dance alerting all other bees of pending danger

  • Scrubbing Dance - A washer board movement, moving up and down to polish the inside and outside of the hive

Is Honey and Cinnamon really a natural healer?

The combination of honey and cinnamon has been used in both oriental and alternative medicine for centuries. Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known to mankind and combined with the healing benefits of Jarrah Honey can assist with many health ailments.

How does Apple Cider Vinegar and honey work?

Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins and has amazing properties to assist the body get rid of germs.  With regular and continued use, this wonderful liquid helps restore and balance the body's pH, taking it from acidic to neutral in a short amount of time.

Why do bees collect honey?

Bees collect nectar from flowers and transport it back to the hive in their honey stomach. In the gut the sugars are converted and honey is created. Honeybees collect as much honey as they can when the flowers are blossoming. They store it in the hive in wax cells and eat it when they are hungry. The hive is their pantry of food.

What is pollen and how does it help Hay Fever?

Bees gather pollen by coming into contact with the stamens of flowers.  The pollen grains stick to the bees body hair, they then scrape and pack the pollen grains into their “pollen baskets” which are located on their legs.  Bee pollen is a high natural source of protein and it an important part of their diet.

It has been reputed that a natural way to desensitize yourself to pollen in the air is by eating pollen.  Consider purchasing pollen from your local area as this will help as a "desensitizer."  We are most likely to suffer hay fever and sinusitis symptoms from the pollens which we are exposed to the most i.e. pollen from your local area.  By eating this pollen, your immune system should eventually get used to the pollen in the air.  Consequently, it may be possible to avoid hay fever and sinusitis symptoms by eating local pollen. Asthma sufferers should first check whether they are allergic to pollen as a severe reaction may result.

Why is West Australian Pollen special?

The House of Honey sources its bee pollen from the pristine Eucalyptus forests of Western Australia, one of the best sources of pollen in Australia.  WA beekeepers do not use chemicals or antibiotics on their bees so our pollen is clean and chemical free.

Air pollution can have negative effects on pollen so always look for the highest-quality bee pollen from extremely clean natural environments and reputable beekeepers.

What is Royal Jelly?

Worker bees manufacture Royal Jelly from glands found in their heads. The bees then deposit this honey-bee milk into the bottom of each cell in the colony for the developing larvae to feed on. Royal Jelly is not produced in abundance like honey and is labour intensive for beekeepers to collect. It is harvested by stimulating colonies with movable frame hives to produce queen bees. Royal jelly is collected from each individual queen cell when the queen larvae are about four days old. It is then sold as a dietary supplement.

What is Propolis?

Propolis is a natural product of the beehive which is made up of resins collected by the bees from leaf buds and the bark of trees.  This is then mixed with beeswax and enzymes from the bee. The properties of propolis include antibiotic, anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and aesthetic. Propolis is rich in a certain group of antioxidants called flavonoids (also known as bioflavonoids).  Flavonoids are powerful free-radical scavengers that give strong support to the human body’s natural immune system at the cellular level and assist with cell regeneration.

Why are bees so important to our food supply?

Honeybees create a wonderful natural food supply and they are also the predominant reason why the human race has access to other food sources. Bees pollinate at least 80% of the total insect-pollinated plants which form a third of our diet. Bees need pollen to feed their young and by gathering it, they fertilise (i.e. the act of pollination) each flowering plant. During foraging, one bee can in fact pollinate around 18,000 flowers per day.

Is there a decline in the world’s ‘Bee Population’?

The decline in world bee numbers is a frightening prospect. Colony collapse disorder and the Varroa Mite are the main causes of dwindling numbers. The mysterious mass die-off of honey bees is alarming; many countries pinpoint at GM crops and chemicals called neonicotinoids. Without the honeybee our food diversity is under threat. 

Albert Einstein is reputed to have said,” If the bee disappears off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left.  No pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man”.

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Who said Bee’s don’t make good Pets?

Beekeeping is a great way to understand nature and enjoy your own pot of fresh honey.  Join a beekeeping society and learn how to support bees in suburbia.

Ask the Beekeeper

Do you have more questions? We’d love to answer them. Contact us to find out more.