Our remarkable fennel-flower honey was created by bees pollinating fennel seed crops across the Northern Midlands of Tasmania. If you like a hint of toffee in your honey — our fennel-flower honey is the way to go. Our friend Simon in Young, NSW has a jar of each of our honey varieties at home. He told me recently that he thinks our fennel-flower is "the bomb"!
Together with Tasmanian Pollination Services, our bees pollinate fennel crops across the Midlands of Tasmania to secure fennel seed production. Although indigenous to the Mediterranean, Tasmanian farmers have been growing fennel since the 1980s to produce essential oils and extracts. In fact Essential Oils Tasmania is one of the largest fennel oil producers in the world. Fennel oil is used in a range of nutritional and complementary medicine products, as well as personal care and aromatherapy products. The delicious bonus of our bees' pollinating activities is the fabulous fennel-flower honey we harvest at the end of the season. Don't worry — we always leave a box of honey for the bees and only take the excess honey to share with you.
At Herbert & Co we love everything about food — from paddock to plate. Through our honey bees we are committed to supporting ethical and sustainable food production — starting on our back doorstep in northern Tasmania. We purchased our first four bee hives in 2018 after a trip to North America, where we first became aware of the decline in the global honey bee population, which is threatening our food security. The seeds of an idea were sown during our travels and Herbert & Co Honeybee Products was conceived. Our origins are in agriculture — it is in our blood and at the very core of our being.
An estimated 65 per cent of agricultural and horticultural crops introduced to Australia following European settlement require external sources of pollination (e.g. insects, birds, winds or bats). Some of these crops are 100 per cent reliant on insect pollinators, such as honey bees. The number of honey bee hives required per crop depends on multiple factors.
What does this mean to you? Let’s think about it this way — one in every three mouthfuls of food depends on pollinators like the honey bee. Herbert & Co honey bees are crop pollinators first and honey producers second. We only harvest our honey in small batches, when the season is bountiful and the crops our bees are pollinating are in full flower. We make sure plenty of honey is left for our bees to remain strong and healthy.
At Herbert & Co, we are committed to building our hives and helping secure healthy crop production — for you, our bees and our planet.