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  • Our Honey
    Our honey is produced in a simple, natural, age-old beekeeping process also using a modern HACCP Quality Assurance program. ​ We aim to provide local consumers with local Victorian varieties of honey, sourced from areas throughout the state. Each variety is unique in its colour, flavour and type of flora from which it is collected. We label each jar or tub of our honey with the individual location of it's origin, so you can be sure of the local region of Victoria from which your product has been sourced. ​ Honey production in Victoria varies from year to year. Most of the honey is produced from native Eucalypt trees, whose flowering patterns are varied and spasmodic, highly dependant on both weather and climate. As a consequence, at times we will run out of particular varieties of honey if there is an extended period of time between flowering events. So if there is a particular honey you like, buy bigger buckets.
  • Is our honey 100% Australian?
    Our honey is and will always be 100% Australian honey that has come from direct from our hives.
  • Where do we source our honey from?
    Most of our honey is produced from native Eucalypt trees across various regions of Victoria. Occasionally honey can be collected from other trees or plants such as Banksia and Tea Tree (also know as Manuka). Often, each of these trees have flowering patterns that are varied, spasmodic and highly dependant on both weather and climate. For instance, Messmate eucalypt tress flower generally once every 4 years! As a consequence, at times we will run out of particular varieties of honey if there is an extended period of time between flowering events. So if there is a particular honey you like, buy bigger buckets!
  • What is single origin honey?
    Single origin honey describes honey that is produced by bees that collect nectar from a single type of flower or plant species within an area. The bees will gather nectar from this type of flower or plant, resulting in a unique flavour, aroma, and colour of honey that is distinct to that particular region and plant. We aim to provide single origin honey to our customers to you can really experience the unique flavour from our beautiful flora of Victoria. We do not blend different honey types to get a particular colour or flavor - it is as the bees have collected it!
  • How do you get the different varieties of honey?
    Different plants produce different types of nectar, which in turn produces different types of honey! The differences in honey can be in the form of colour, flavour, aroma and viscosity (thickness). Age of honey can also change the honey, with some varieties intensifying in flavour over time, such as Banksia honey types. We move our bees to areas where there is a large proportion of a type of tree flowering, the bees forage primarily on these trees and produce an excess amount of honey. This is what we collect and provide to our customers! We are very lucky in Australia to have so many types of plants that produce a vast array of wonderful honey varieties.
  • How do we extract our honey?
    We extract and pack all our honey right here, in our facility in Castlemaine. We do this is by: Remove the honey supers: Honey supers are the boxes that sit on top of a beehive where bees store their excess honey. When these supers are full of capped honey, we removed them from the hive once our bees have moved out of the box. Remove wax capping's: The wax capping's seal honeycomb cells and must be removed to access the honey. We do this by putting the frames of honey through a machine which scrapes off the capping's. Extract the honey: Once the wax capping's have been removed, the frames of honeycomb are placed in our honey extractor. The extractor uses centrifugal force to spin the honey out of the comb. Strain the honey: After extracting the honey, it may contain small pieces of wax or other debris. To remove these, our honey is strained through a series of coarse strainers. Pack the honey: Once the honey is strained, we pack it into our jars ready for sale.
  • Do we add sugar to our honey?
    No, nah, nope, no way, certainly not, by no means. Castlemaine honey is and will always be 100% pure Australian honey how our bees have made it. We would never blend in any sugar or other syrups to our honey. We also do not blend different types of honey together to get a particular colour or flavor - we keep it as the bees have collected it!
  • Do we pasteurise our honey?
    No our honey is not pasteurised or heated to high temperatures. We warm our honey to 'hive temperature' which can be enough to extract it and strain it to remove large bits of wax. This allows it to flow easily into jars while packing. This also maintains all the natural enzymes, flavours and aromas of our delightful honey.
  • How do we make our 'Creamed' honey?
    Our creamed honey, also known as whipped honey or spun honey, is honey that has a smooth and creamy texture, making it easy to spread on toast or use as a sweetener in tea or coffee. Here is a basic overview of what we do to make our creamed honey: We start with adding one of our honey varieties (such as Iron Bark or Grey Box) to our creamer machine (basically a big mixer). Next, we add a small amount of already creamed honey to our new honey and stir until it is well combined. The creamed honey acts as a "seed" to encourage the crystallization of the rest of the honey. We stir the mixture and 'whip it' until it becomes creamy and smooth. Pour into our jars and allow it to set. That's it!
  • Why does honey go crystalised or 'candy'?
    Some honeys crystallize or go 'candy' because they contain high amounts of natural sugars. Under certain conditions, these natural sugars in the honey can form small crystals, and can cause the honey to look and taste grainy or go completely solid. The rate and time it takes for crystallization can be different depending on the type of honey and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. While crystallization can make honey appear less appealing it is a completely natural process and does not affect the quality or nutritional value of the honey. In fact, some people prefer crystallized honey because it has a spreadable texture and a milder flavour!
  • Can you change crystalized or 'candy' honey back to liquid?
    Of course! To restore your liquid honey (and keep the nutritional value), it can be gently warmed in a bowl of warm water or placed in a sunny spot and stirred regularly until the crystals dissolve. Excessive heat can damage the honey's enzymes and other beneficial components, so it's important not to overheat or microwave honey.
  • How many hives do we manage?
    Castlemaine Honey manages over 2,000 beehives throughout the state of Victoria and Southern NSW. We move our honeybees to different areas where trees are flowering throughout the year to ensure they are getting different nectar and pollen. The beehives produce honey and beeswax and to provide pollination services to various crops. We only take the excess honey that is produced by our bees to create our products - the rest stays with the bees!
  • Do we move our bees?
    It is only out of necessity to which we travel with our bees, believing that taking the greatest of care with each of our journeys is paramount. We have invested in modern trucks with advanced suspension and tyre inflation/deflation systems which limit our environmental impact and provide the bees with a gentle ride that does not adversely impact on beehive health.
  • Is Castlemaine Honey a family business?
    100% yes! Castlemaine honey is owned and operated by Peter, Michelle and Matthew from McDonald Honey. They are 4th and 5th generation beekeepers from the Castlemaine area (that's a lot of experience and knowledge!)
  • Is Castlemaine Honey Australian owned?
    Absolutely! Castlemaine Honey is 100% Australian owned and operated from Castlemaine, Victoria.
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