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Honey much abuzz in Dumbalk

DUMBALK honey producers Sharon and Rob Fisher did not expect their hobby to become the big business it is today when they started beekeeping more than a decade ago.
Now owners of Blue Tree Honey Farm, the couple offer honey tastings, demonstrations and work out of a farm shop cafe serving thousands of tourists and guests every year.
“Fourteen months ago we opened up the farm shop and it has turned into a full cafe. We wanted to get our beekeeping out of the house and it ballooned into a real popular business,” Mr Fisher said.
“We started selling our excess honey years ago at markets along with some jams we had been making with fruit from our farm.”
The Fishers attended beekeeping meetings in Melbourne and sold honey in Melbourne, soon realising both their products and expertise would be of value at home in South Gippsland.
“We realised we should start a beekeeping club here in South Gippsland. We expected maybe a dozen or so keepers to turn up but we had almost 50 at our first meeting. So we founded the South Gippsland Beekeepers Club back in 2010 and I was president for the first three years,” Mr Fisher said.
The bees have been busy at Blue Tree Honey Farm in the eight years since, with the Fishers’ business having expanded to hives across Gippsland.
“We have approximately 40 hives across South Gippsland, Wilsons Promontory and everywhere in between. We buy honey from a couple of other beekeepers too to keep us stocked up,” Mr Fisher said.
“We enjoy educating people. Our honey is nothing like supermarket honey.”
The award winning honey is appreciated for its rich, full flavours without the nasty additives of store bought honey.
“We sell our honey at markets, festivals, bed and breakfasts, and people love it because they are keen to buy local,” Mrs Fisher said.
“Our honey is not heat treated or blended. It is raw and it goes straight from the comb to the customer. We decant the honey into bottles at our farm shop.”
The Blue Tree Honey cafe offers guests a look at how honey is made, with a live hive behind glass in store. The team also sell a variety of honey related products including ice cream, milkshakes and Devonshire tea.
“We sell beekeeping equipment and enjoy sharing what we have learnt with others,” Mrs Fisher said.
“A big learning curve for us was turning our hobby into a busy business. We employ staff and had thousands come through the door last year. It is heaps of fun but also lots of hard work.”
The bees themselves have also proven to be tricky business.
“I have been stung so many times it is not funny,” Mr Fisher said.
“It is an occupational hazard.”

Live hive: from left, Sharon and Rob Fisher stand with a few thousand busy bees working to make honey at Blue Tree Honey Farm’s cafe in Dumbalk.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24608

Posted by on Apr 4 2018. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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