Bee prepared: smart hives & super honey
The Purple Hive Project, an initiative by Bega’s B honey that aims to protect our honey bees, has found its first home – the Port of Melbourne. The Purple Hive Project will be trialled alongside sentinel hives, which provide frontline defence against the Varroa “destructor” mite, a parasite that has been killing honey bee colonies worldwide.
Australia is the only populated continent in the world that has not been impacted by the Varroa mite – and its potential arrival is a very real threat. Should Varroa establish itself in Australia, it’s estimated that the healthy population of honey bees, and the pollination services they provide, could be reduced by 90 to 100 percent, with the potential to impact producers of crops such as almonds and apples who rely on bee pollination.
The long-term sentinel hives at the Port of Melbourne are monitored by Agriculture Victoria as part of the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program. The Port of Melbourne has been identified as the most likely entry points of bee pests, such as the Varroa mite, in Victoria.
The Purple Hive – a solar-powered digital monitoring device that can be attached to hives to detect the Varroa mite – can monitor bee populations in real time using 360-degree cameras and artificial intelligence. It has significant potential to improve the sensitivity of pest detection and reduce labour costs associated with traditional hive monitoring.
To learn more about the Purple Hive Project, head to purplehiveproject.com.au. B Honey is now available in Coles supermarkets nationally.
Qld company produces Australia’s highest-grade Manuka
Varsity Lakes-based company Biosota has successfully honed in on the best hives and processes to produce Australia’s highest-grade Manuka honey.
Possessing a powerful potency hundreds of times to that of the average Manuka, Biosota’s offering clocks out at 1717+ MGO (methylglyoxal – a major antibacterial component in Manuka honey) and is standing out as some of the best in the world. The higher the MGO, the higher the purity of honey and its associated health benefits.
Biosota Managing Director Andrey Zubko says Manuka honey represents only one percent of all kinds of honey, making it extremely coveted.
“Manuka honey is champagne in the world of honey and can only be created in very few locations across the east coast of Australia and New Zealand, where leptospermum trees are located,” he says. “Achieving these extremely high grades and quality requires specific scientific and industry knowledge and careful collection.”
Biosota is fully committed to organic, sustainable and ethical best practices to produce its high-grade Manuka honey. Produced in Queensland, the third-generation beekeeping family has developed processes that support the health and survival rate of bees.
Biosota’s Manuka honey is raw, not heat-treated and has been laboratory-tested to ensure its potency, purity and quality. The company’s Manuka farm yields a unique microclimate, away from main roads and pollutants, making the product 100 percent certified organic.
To find out more, head to biosota.com.au