About Blue Hills
Blue Hills Manuka Honey
The flagship product is Manuka Honey packaged with laboratory tested/graded bio-activity indicated on the label. For the details on this amazing honey, please see:
Blue Hills Leatherwood, Blackberry, and Meadow Honeys
In addition to Manuka honey, they produce a great Leatherwood, both organic and regular; and Blackberry, and Meadow honeys as well. Please details further down this page:
Blue Hills – Their Other Honeys
Blue Hills Honey is owned and operated by the Charles family, the business roots tracing back three generations to Bernard Charles who kept bees as a hobby and a source of food. Rueben Charles (son of Bernard) and his wife Beryl expanded production to some 1600 hives and saw the business develop into a major bulk honey producer and they were the first Australian firm to export honey to Japan in the 1960s. Rueben’s son Robbie then began managing the business in the 1990s and, with his wife Nicola (and two children Thomas and Ella), oversaw the establishment of a packaging facility for retail and expanded their export markets in 2004. Please see:
Blue Hills History
To meet the folks from Blue Hill, please see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOdFLKDMTvc
Or this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vLrxHE_Nmk
Blue Hills has a long history of winning awards for the quality of their honeys. For details, please see:
Blue Hills Awards
Blue Hills monitors many aspects of their honeys and they submit their honeys to laboratory testing. Recent laboratory test reports can be seen here:
Blue Hills Laboratory Reports
There are a number of organizations that monitor beekeepers and certify their operations as meeting organizational standards. Blue Hills Honey has received many certifications which confirm the high level of quality, professionalism, and compliance with the highest industry standards. Please see:
Blue Hills Certifications
Committed to providing a quality product and professional service, Blue Hills Honey was the very first Australian honey producer to implement a stringent industry-initiated quality assurance program in accordance with Australian and New Zealand food safety requirements. Please see:
B-Qual Honey Handbook and
Another feature that sets Blue Hills Honey apart is the fact the company employs a cold extraction process that ensures all natural components on the honey are retained. Blue Hills cold extraction takes place at temperatures of less than 45C as heat interferes with the make-up of the honey and can alter taste and colour. Most health-conscious shoppers prefer raw honey, because it contains all the enzymes and live pollens which are destroyed by heating. Blue Hills Honey is “cold processed” giving you the very best of the honeys coming from “green” Tasmania.
If Blue Hills Honey appears cloudy or has a crystalised texture when you receive it, it has not gone bad. That is a normal thing for “cold processed” honey and indicates that the honey was handled in the best of conditions with the best of care. This is sometimes known as “candied” honey or “sugared honey”. It is a sign of a top grade “cold processed” honey.
Unheated honey is cloudy as soon as it is extracted. This cloudiness gradually increases day-by-day as the honey thickens, and ultimately the honey becomes firm or crystallized. Many health-conscious shoppers prefer cold-processed honey, because it contains all the enzymes and live pollens which are usually destroyed by heating.
Blue Hills Honey Leatherwood honey is part of the research programs at the University of Sydney ‘Antimicrobial actions of Australian mono-floral honeys and the University of Tasmania ‘Leatherwood honey antimicrobial and antifungal actions’.
Blue Hills – Their Other Honeys
In addition to their great Manuka Honey, Blue Hills produce a great Leatherwood honey in both organic and traditional (non-organic) styles, an elegant Blackberry honey, and a light and floral Meadow honey.
If Leatherwood honey is new to you, please know that it is one of the most rare of honeys, available only from Tasmania.
Tasmania is the only place on mother Earth where the Leatherwood plant grows.
Leatherwood honey is produced in the great pristine forests of Tasmania’s wild and rugged west coast, including the Tarkine. The Tarkine is the largest single tract of temperate rainforest wilderness left in Australia. Much of the region has been proclaimed as a World Heritage or Protected Area. This area is the home of some of the world’s cleanest air and water.
Flowering from approximately January until April, the Leatherwood tree (Eucryphia lucida) is endemic to Tasmania and originated nearly 65 million years ago. The best stands of leatherwood are often hidden deep within the forest and can be difficult to access, but the delicious rewards are well worth the trouble.
Blue Hills is the only apiary in the heart of this pristine environment. Only 600-1200 tonnes are produced annually.
Blue Hills Leatherwood honey uses cold extraction process which ensures all natural components on the honey are retained. The cold extraction takes place at temperatures of less than 45C as heat interferes with the make-up of the honey and can alter taste and colour.
What does Leatherwood Honey taste like?
Leatherwood honey is considered a gourmet product with a strong, distinctive flavor. While many Tasmania’s say that leatherwood ‘tastes like the wilderness’, the International Slow Food Movement describes it in the following way:
“Leatherwood honey is slightly liquid with uniform crystallisation, a smooth creamy texture and an ochre-yellow colour. The perfume is intense with notes of balsamic scents, which develops quickly into clean fresh notes of citrus fruits and white flowers. The flavour is clean and fresh, very balsamic, with lightly spicy notes in its long finish. Overall, the sensation of eating this honey is very pleasurable: it is creamy, buttery, low in acidity and melts in the mouth.
Inclusion in the Arc Of Taste
The International Slow Food Movement promotes and protects the enjoyment of ‘slow food’, that is, food made from natural, fresh ingredients, using time honored techniques. One of the organization’s key initiatives is the Ark of Taste. Just as Noah’s Ark was filled with two of every creature, to ensure their long term survival, so the Ark of Taste has been established to ensure the survival of the world’s precious foods.
“The Ark of Taste aims to rediscover, catalogue, describe and publicise forgotten flavours. It is a metaphorical recipient of excellent gastronomic products that are threatened by industrial standardization, hygiene laws, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage”.
Recognising that Leatherwood honey is a rare and special food, the International Slow Food Movement committed to its preservation by including it in the Ark of Taste. Above information courtesy of the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association: http://tasmanianbeekeepers.org.au
Blue Hills Blackberry Honey and Meadow Honey
Since 1955 Blue Hills has produced uniquely Tasmanian premium honeys. These honeys are made from the nectars collected by bees from the flowering native plants found in the pristine Tarkine wilderness and the fields and meadows of Tasmania.
To obtain a honey with a predominant flavour, for example, Blackberry, the bee hives are moved into areas when the Blackberry plants are in bloom there.
To obtain their Meadow Honey, the hives are moved to the sunshine drenched Tasmanian meadows when the meadows are in full flower, providing a variety of flowers that create the Meadow honey taste profile.
Bees are very efficient and will fly only as far as they need in order to obtain the nectar they use to make honey. So by moving the hives into an area where a specific plant is in bloom, the flavour of the honey can be optimised.
More Information about Honey
We have collected a large amount of information about all things honey and we would like to share that information with you. See our: Honey Library