The Honey of Australian Native Stingless Bees

1st Review by David Anderson,
northsidenativebees.com.au

A much-anticipated envelope was waiting in my letterbox on Friday night, containing a copy of Dean Haley’s book ‘The Honey of Australian Native Stingless Bees’.

I opened the envelope and had a quick flick through what looks like a beautiful and well-presented book (it’s true, I might have been looking to see if I was in any of the pic-tures, haha). So, with a little time to spare on Saturday morning, I sat down to have a read and was not able to put it down until I reached the last page.

This book starts with some fascinating historical detail on the relationship aboriginal people have with this honey and the bees that produce it. And then on to some early writings on the experiences of early immigrants to Australia.

After a quick whiz through the local species of stingless bees, we move straight on the main event … the honey. This is where the book discusses, the properties of sting-less bee honey, extraction and food safety. Dean also talks about the State and Federal rules that you will need to be aware of if you’re hoping to start selling your honey.

Then we take a look at some local beekeepers and they talk about their approach to honey extraction and the de-signs they came up with to help them get the best quality honey while also caring for their bees.
Dean also talks about some of the flowers that stingless bees like, and I found it refreshing to hear someone not only talk about the pollen and nectar bearing capabilities, but also the simple beauty of these plants in your garden.
Finally, we take a look at what stingless beekeepers in other countries are doing. Their methods as well as some of their challenges.

If you’ve ever met Dean, you’ll recognise his gentle and informative voice in the voice of the writing. This is a very easy book to read and covers plenty of detail without getting overly technical. It’s definitely worth buying, and is not something you would read once and never look at again. This is something I can see myself referring back to again and again.
So, as Molly Meldrum would say: Do yourself a favour and order yourself a copy from Dean at trueblue-bees@gmail.com.


2nd Review by Sarah Hamilton, www.beeyourself.com.au

Hats off to you Dean! This book is a really useful contribution to the industry; it is the resource we have all been missing. Special mention to Glenbo Craig, as his design contributions to the book are spot on!
At a mere $20 RRP this super affordable, easy to read, visually pleasing book takes some in-depth and scientific concepts and presents them in such a way that even a novice will understand. I would especially recommend this book if you are, or are interested in selling Stingless Bee Honey. It details comprehensive information about the legal requirements and processes involved in the production/manufacturing.
In this book Dean shares his extensive knowledge of all things honey; specifically Australian Native Stingless Bee Honey, for which, incidentally, the Australian industry has not yet settled on an official term.

When I say ‘all things honey’, I quite literally mean all things! Dean covers a vast range of topics such as:
• Traditional Indigenous knowledge and cultural practices
• Insights into the history of stingless bees in the Australian media and the origins of commonly used terms
• The difference between species and their honey
• Future recommendations for the industry
• Practices of native beekeeping in other countries
• Interviews with critical industry contributors
• Planting guides for honey production
• How-to-guide for harvesting and storing honey and even some ideas on how to serve honey.

For me personally, the chapter about Indigenous knowledge and practices, past and present, was of great interest. I discovered information that I had previously searched for but had been unable to find, and also found confirmation of some concepts I have heard from others. One such story is how the Yolngu of Arnhem Land see Sugarbag as part of an interconnected system. This philos-ophy, based on the season of the year, what is happening with flowering plants, what is happening to the animals and birds who feed on them are all connected, is a beautiful holistic way of viewing our practice as beekeepers. I too hope that these practices become living culture again.

It is clear that Dean’s priority is 100% the welfare of these beautiful little creatures, as he consistently endorses ethical practices above all else. This alongside Dean’s humble, no BS approach makes the book a most palatable read. This is a resource that I will continue to refer to myself, and will recommend to my customers.
Overall a great informative read worthy of your time!

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