Kangaroo Island is a Ligurian Bee Sanctuary
Kangaroo Island is the world's oldest bee sanctuary and is home to the purest strain of Ligurian Bee in the world.
Due to their isolation, they have remained free of the major bee diseases, which infect mainland bees. Bees cannot fly to Kangaroo Island because it is too far, even with strong winds to propel them.
To protect their genetic purity and disease-free status, all bees, beehives, used beekeeping equipment, honey, pollen, beeswax or other hive products are restricted from entering KI.
Please help protect Kangaroo Island's Ligurian bees by observing these restrictions. Bee diseases can be passed on by a bee coming in contact with any of the above materials and taking it back to the hive. If you are in possession of any of these restricted materials on Kangaroo Island, take them home unopened, or to the Department of Primary Industries in Kingscote. There are also quarantine bins located at the ferry terminal.
Clifford's Honey Farm is one of many honey producers on Kangaroo Island. Dave and Jenny Clifford have been bee keepers since 1973 with the Honey Farm Shop Established in 1993.
Honey flavours - How do we get different flavours?
The plants the bees are gathering nectar from determine honey flavour.
Bees gather nectar from the plants that are flowering near their hive. They usually forage within a 1 km range from their hive.
Beehives are migrated around Kangaroo Island into areas where large amounts of a particular plant are flowering; this will ensure the bees are feeding on this resource.
Ripe honey is removed about every 3 weeks. As another species comes into bloom, we move the beehives to that location and the bees will gather a new flavour. During the colder months they only have the opportunity to gather nectar when weather permits. This is only enough for the bee’s own requirements, so we don't harvest any honey during winter. There is something flowering somewhere on Kangaroo Island practically all year round. The bees work the hardest in spring and summer.
Handy Honey Hints:
- When measuring honey, dip the spoon in hot water first so the honey slides off easily.
- Use light coloured honey for cakes, biscuits and stewed fruits. Use darker honey for stronger flavour in gingerbread or chocolate combinations
- Cakes and biscuits made with honey keep longer, as honey absorbs and retains moisture. Which helps baked foods stay soft and can improve the texture and flavour.
- To substitute honey in your cooking use the same measurement as you would for sugar but reduce the liquid content by 25%.
- When adding honey to butter, pour slowly in a fine stream.
- Always keep honey in a dry place - not the fridge.
- Honey is a natural preservative and will never go out of date!
Crystallization is the natural process by which the honey turns from a liquid to a semi-solid state. This is a result of the natural sugars in the honey crystallizing. The floral source, cool temperatures, and the age of the honey can all impact this natural process.
When honey crystallizes, it is still as nutritious and sweet as ever. In fact, the crystals prove that the honey is high quality and pure. You can use it as is in your cooking or cup of tea. Alternatively, follow the below process to return it back to liquid:
- Stand your closed honey jar/container in a bowl of warm (not boiling) water for 20-30 minutes.
- Gently mix the honey to encourage this process.
- Repeat as necessary.
**Avoid using high heat, as excessive temperature can damage the beneficial enzymes and antioxidants in the honey.**