In Australia, beekeepers can experience “Honey Events”. This phenomenon occurs every once in a while in different parts of the Big Red Island (AKA Australia). In these events, beekeepers suddenly observe a high volume of honey being accumulated in short periods of time. This can be combined with flowers that flower out of season, either early or late, following heavy rain or after a flood.
These events are so unique that they might occur once every 3 to 9 years. On some occasions, it may even happen once in 30 years. These uncommon events create different types of honey given the unusual flowers and nectars involved, which do not flower together usually. Some of these events make a fantastic combination of flavours.
Typically, a seasonal harvest can be extracted within days. The honey would keep coming in. Effectively, the bees will accumulate as much as the beekeeper can extract. Experienced beekeepers will always be on the lookout for Honey Events. Some has got the memory of the fantastic run in 1989 and 2002. Each of us still remembers how we pooled out 18kg of honey on a Monday arvo to find another 18kg on the following Sunday within the same hives, produced from the same flowers… Apparently, the legend of a “new swarm in a new box” who filled a full hive box within a week is true. I have seen it happening with my own eyes, when for a period of 3-6 weeks straight, our hives were kept filled with honey, week in and week out.
These honey events have created myths and stories and a constant chase after the ultimate flow, where honey is constantly produced by the hard-working bees. Beekeepers will drive thousands of hives on road trains around Australia, expecting to experience these honey events, but unfortunately, in many cases, the disappointment is as high as the expectation.
Not anywhere else around the world plants and trees can produce so much nectar like the trees in the Land Down Under can. This is one of the unique characteristics of the Australian flora, where a single large mature tree can flow more than a tonne of nectar. How do we know? The bees collect the nectar and produce honey out of it; hence they help us with those calculations. Alternatively, four big mature ironbark trees or blue gum trees on a single acre can produce 4 tonnes of honey. No other crop will provide that much income per acre. It’s a fact.
Through extensive honey production, bees can teach us a lot about the cycles of honey flows, rain and drought, and much more. Bees can teach us how to make the most out of the land without impacting the trees, forests, or even take us to the next level of intelligent farming where bees and trees create the best environment for other forms of agriculture, all combined.