Not only is this delicious honey produced locally, made in small batches and handcrafted, there’s an important story behind every jar.
When John’s mother passed away around the time his second child was born, his perspective on life changed.
“I saw the bookends of life in a very short space of time, and that made me rethink my corporate career,” John said.
From this moment, John’s hobby of bee keeping, which began in 2018, gave way to his new business – Rooftop Bees.
Rooftop Bees began as a corporate beekeeping service, installing and maintaining beehives on rooftops in Sydney and Melbourne. Though, when COVID struck, John had to look at alternatives to stay afloat, and the answer was in the by-product – honey!
With an apiary in Terry Hills, John’s western honeybees create mixed blossom honey. This means that, unlike large commercial beekeepers who move bees around to catch particular types of nectar flows, John’s bees are stationary and collect the flowers that are in season.
“The result is, from one hive alone, you’ll see variations in colour, flavour, viscosity and aroma, and that will be evident in what’s in the jar that Pod Members receive,” John said.
“Everything that is inside that jar has been created by mother nature and is a representation of what's in season and collected by the bees at that time.”
“We pride ourselves on not trying to be perfect or giving the customer a consistent product.”
Even then, what you see and taste is only the tip of the iceberg. Honey is merely the sweet reward of the very important work of the bees. In fact, they are so significant that the United Nations have declared May 20, World Bee Day.
“Bees pollinate 71 of the top 100 food crops that feed about 90% of the world,” said John.
“The UN has actually come out and declared that 1/3 of every mouthful we eat as humans has been directly impacted by bee pollination.”
Without bees we wouldn't have all the colourful, fresh, tasty fruit and veg we enjoy every day. They are, as John describes them, the “unsung heroes” of food security.
And they also are an important part of John’s life.
“I don't think I realised it at the time, but on reflection the bees have had quite a healing effect on me post the loss of my mum,” he said.
“They're fascinating creatures!”
Next time you buy a jar of Rooftop Bees honey through Minifarms, you’ll know that there’s more than meets the eye behind each pot of sweetness.