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Byron Shire
September 25, 2023

Beekeeper’s sweet life

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From The Beez To You, via local apiarist Tanya Grace

Declining worldwide bee populations put our food security at risk because, according to the United Nations, one-third of the world’s food production depends solely on bees. Thankfully, local apiarists like Tanya Grace are helping to keep bee numbers healthy in the Northern Rivers.

Tanya and her husband Ben have about 140 hives dotted around the region from Eungella and Hastings Point to Tumbulgum and Brooklet. ‘Each of our hives house about 50,000 bees, which is a lot of bees and a lot of honey,’ says Tanya.

Ben’s father has been beekeeping for more than 50 years and the couple, who now run the family honey business, From The Beez To You, are not only passionate about keeping bee numbers thriving but also about ensuring locals have access to honey in its raw, natural state.

Every Thursday morning, Tanya brings tubs of raw honey, creamed honey and fresh honeycomb from her hives to Byron Farmers Market.

‘Supermarket honey tends to be overly sweet and more runny than raw honey. It’s also pasteurised to extend shelf life, which reduces some of the nutrients,’ Tanya says.

‘Sometimes it is supplemented with imported honey from Argentina, India and China, so you don’t really know exactly what is in the honey. Whereas all our honey is untreated. We extract it from the hives and leave it in its natural state, which means it has all of the good stuff such as pollen and propolis.’ Propolis is believed to have a number of health benefits, including helping to heal wounds and fight infections.

From The Beez To You has four main varieties of honey:  Brush Box, Ironbark, Rainforest and Coastal Heath. ‘Coastal Heath, with its strong flavour and caramel undertones, is my favourite,’ says Tanya, ‘but if you are looking for something a bit lighter in flavour then the Brush Box is a good choice. It’s really delicious and mild.’

You can find Tanya and her range of raw honey at Byron Farmers Market every Thursday morning.

Byron Farmers Market is held Thursdays 7-11am at Butler St Reserve and Bangalow Farmers Market is Saturdays 7-11am behind the Bangalow pub.

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