Know Your Honey with The Beekeeper

Can you feel the chill in the air? We’re pulling out our woolly socks and staying in bed that little bit longer. We’re craving tea and crumpets, preferably drizzled with honey. But we must admit, we can’t tell our Ironbark from our Stringybark, our Yellow Box from our Apple Box. Can you? Coastbeat visited Port Central’s Real Food Markets and caught up with Narelle Fox who represents The Beekeeper. She walked us through the varieties on offer. 

Honeycomb stacked up in boxes on a table.

Who is the Beekeeper?

‘The Beekeeper’ is a fourth-generation father and son beekeeping business based at Collombatti near Kempsey. Their 1500 hives are transported to wherever the best trees are flowering. In the last 18 months a combination of drought, fire and flood has meant Daryl Brenton has had to take his hives much further afield in search of appropriately flowering trees. When the weather conditions are favourable, they generally stick to the Mid North Coast or the fringes of the northern tablelands.    

Narelle Fox takes us through some of The Beekeeper’s varieties….

Honey in plastic tubs with yellow lids


“Yellowbox is your everyday honey – mild and mellow. It’s very good for tea and coffee because it will sweeten rather than flavour.” 

Jars of Ironbark honey


“Then we go to Ironbark. It has a little bit more depth of flavour than Yellowbox and people find it a little bit sweeter.” 


“The Stingybark is our darkest honey. The darker the honey, the deeper and stronger the flavour. It has a caramel and licorice flavour.” 

A woman at a market stall selling honey


“The Applebox only flowers every two to three years and it has a beautiful caramel malt flavour. It’s very limited and we don’t expect to have it for another few years now.”  

Know Your Honey with The Beekeeper


“We’ve just got the Turpertine honey back. It’s been six years since we’ve had that one. It’s a very different honey as it has a herbaceous, lemon myrtle flavour. My recommendation would be to use it when cooking.”

Visit the Real Food Market in the Port Central forecourt every Tuesday from midday.


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