Every tree that produces nectar from its flowers is a significant contributor to the honey-making process. In addition, trees can give farmers the most valuable piece of knowledge: how to treat the soil properly to make a living out of it, without damaging the ground or the trees themselves in the long run.
The soil requires the protection of the trees from the burning drying sun. In return for supplying a protecting shade, the soil will store moisture and water for the trees. Together, they will produce flowers that will provide nectar for our honey. Ultimately, no other plant can do what trees do to the soil beneath them.
Some of the big mature trees around Australia can yield up to 750L of nectar in three to four weeks during the flowering season. The bees will produce about 325Kg of honey out of it, which is quite significant.
Unfortunately, some big trees are treated like scars within our landscapes, as not every farmer is a beekeeper, and most farmers do not know nor appreciate the actual value of the old trees. A mature tree doesn’t require any maintenance; it preserves the land, keeps the water cycle within the soil and above it, and most importantly, as long as the tree is alive, it can create an ongoing income for honey production lines.
Once the tree has been taken down, the farmer will have to store water in dams, treat the soil with expensive equipment, invest vast resources in the land, only to get a fraction of what one could gain from managing beehives, in combination with intelligent and modest farming in between the trees.
A beekeeper is a forest guard and a forest gardner. Every beekeeper becomes a necessary forest maintainer and educator who cares for the trees through profound understanding that without the forest, we will not have pure and fresh honey or any honey at all.