There’s a buzz in Australia’s South West in a humming town called Busselton where preparations are underway for a colony of bees to be introduced to their new home at Origins Market.
A glass-fronted observation beehive will be a key feature of an immersive food experience where Origins Market visitors can appreciate where their food comes from – the humble honeybee, and its connection to the end product.
When Origins opens on 5 November 2021, visitors will be able to meet Origins’ bees, beekeepers and honey producers as well as an array of West Australian food, wine and artisan products, and purchase an array of fresh fruit and vegetables all made possible by pollination!
“Bees are the start of the food production journey and we simply can’t live without them,” said Deon Maas, General Manager of Origins Market.
“Origins will be celebrating the honeybee and the important role it plays from pollination to hive and honey through an observation beehive,” he said.
“We’ll have an artistic interpretation of the Wadandi six seasons, featuring native plants that flower across these seasons, and the resulting honey for which WA is renowned – Marri, Karri, Jarrah, Wandoo and wildflower.
“And we’ll have some fun too. Forager bees do a ‘waggle dance’ when they discover a good source of nectar or pollen at their return to the hive to tell their mates where it is.
“We’ll have waggle dance wayfinding, web cams on the hive for continued exploration, and even a ‘smell hole’ for visitors to take in the aroma of the hive,” Deon said.
Origins Markets’ Observation Beehive is currently being built by the Honey Bee Health Research Group at the University of Western Australia (UWA).
Group Leader and UWA Research Fellow Dr Julia Grassl said Origins Market provided the ideal opportunity to educate people on the quality of West Australian honey and the complexity of our honeybees.
“WA has some of the cleanest and greenest honey in the world,” Julia said. “There isn’t another place of the same size that still has so much untouched forest to create monofloral honey from Eucalyptus trees.
“Unlike other places we don’t have to reply on agricultural broadacre crops to produce honey.
“What we have here is completely unique and is becoming increasingly more appreciated around the world.
“Because of our climate, bees here are healthy all year round. There’s very little need for sugar feeding because bees in WA always have floral sources, unlike the northern hemisphere and in the south east of Australia where in winter nothing is flowering. Eucalypt forests provide year-round nutrition for honeybees.
“Through Origins Markets we hope to create awareness, educate and add value to our local honey, to create an appreciation for its quality and help beekeepers and honey producers sell their produce.
“Local beekeepers are struggling to maintain a business out of honey production for a number of reasons – bushfire, land taken over for agriculture and development, and the availability of cheaper, inferior products on supermarket shelves, yet the honey bee industry is so important for pollination,” Julia said.
By buying locally, you’re not only supporting West Australian businesses, but you’re also purchasing a healthier, more delicious honey.
According to Julia, honeybee products that are imported into WA have to be heat treated due to the risk of disease. To do this, the honey is heated up, but in the process many healthy properties of the honey can be lost.
“When people taste our local honey, they can taste the difference,” Julia said.
Southern Forests Honey, Wedderburn Honey and Beekeepers Hoard have been selected to provide West Australian honey and honey products at Origins Markets.
Southern Forests Honey will serve up mouth-watering honey products from the pristine forests of Western Australia’s South West. Expect unprocessed honey sourced from endemic trees including Jarrah, and Marri plus creamed honey, also known as ‘bees fudge’, and mead.
Wedderburn Honey will provide unprocessed honey delivered straight from the hive. As well as their original, award-winning honey, Wedderburn are also quite literally spicing things up with a range of spiced honeys; perfect for slathering on morning toast, pairing with cheese or blending into a favourite smoothie.
Wedderburn’s bees are housed in natural wooden hives, where they build honeycomb on traditional wooden frames. There’s not a single sign of plastic or polystyrene and they only ever take excess honey from the hives, to make sure there’s always enough for the colonies to thrive.
Beekeepers Hoard are a lot more than just honey producers. They honey varieties include Wildflower, Chilli and Wandoo and they will also be providing Origins with pollen, honeycomb and 100% pure beeswax.
Beekeepers Hoard collect honey, pollen, honeycomb and beeswax from apiary sites, spanning WA from south in Hopetoun to Dongara on the Coral Coast meaning their bees can source nectar from a range of West Australian floral species.
Visit them and 100 other like-minded West Australian vendors at Origins Market from 5 November 2021 at 86 West Street Busselton, and plan your visit at originsmarket.com.au.
Origins Market will be a market unlike anything else seen before in WA. It will celebrate WA’s best produce and be a destination in its own right. Inspiration comes from the Borough Markets in London, the Oxbow Market in Napa, and Barcelona’s Mercado de La Boqueria – but its focus is 100% local.
Origins Market will feature fresh produce, a roastery, bakery, patisserie, florist, seafood purveyors, butchery, wine hub, condiments, dairy, health foods, artisan products, eateries, food trucks, a microbrewery, and distilleries – all celebrating the best of WA.