Honey, there is a real buzz in this industry
IPSWICH commercial beekeeper Trevor Weatherhead spends each day working to the hum of thousands of bees as they toil within the labyrinth walls of their honeycombs.
For the past 41 years he's been making a product that has long been one of the world's most popular toast toppings and food sweeteners - honey.
However the 63-year-old claims that there is a lot more to the golden nectar than its sweet taste.
And he's keen to show people why.
As a representative of the beekeeping sector, Mr Weatherhead promises to reveal the fascinating world of beekeeping as part of Honey Week.
The event aims to excite and educate the public about the importance of honeybees and to encourage a new generation of beekeepers and bee scientists.
"The public needs to understand and value the importance of bees in Australia as master pollinators and how important they are to our food diversity here," he said.
As well as making honey, Mr Weatherhead said bees played a fundamental role in maintaining many of the country's key agricultural crops.
He said a lot beekeepers were paid to have their bees pollinate crops from carrots to avocados to pumpkins.
"In Queensland alone it's been estimated that $1 billion of crops rely on honey bees for pollination."
Mr Weatherhead - who is also the executive director of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council - said honey contained powerful antioxidants with antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
"They're even giving honey to athletes now because it's a clinically proven option as a natural and stable energy boost for sports and endurance," he said.
Australians will eat about 11,000 tonnes of honey this year, a 6% increase on last year, while sales of organic varieties are up 28%, even though it is more expensive.
In the past 12 months, Woolworths, Coles and IGA report selling more than 500 tonnes, or $5.5 million worth of organic honey Australia-wide.
In line with Honey Week, Mr Weatherhead said he would be appearing this weekend at Moo Baa Munch held at Corinda State High School Farm.
The event is organised by industry body, Agforce, and aims to open the public's eyes to the breadth of the local agriculture industry. It will be held each day between 9am and 4pm.
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Properties of Honey
- It energizes the heart and increases blood flow and fights heart beat dysfunctions.
- Has a sedative effect in sore throats, asthma and flu, by taking thyme and honey infusions with the juice of a lemon.
- Aids in the cure of gastric ulcers.
- It is an ally against aging since it contains antioxidants.
- Regular honey consumption has a positive action on people suffering from stress or burn-out.