FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, Forest Fresh is a Western Australian owned family business. Our extended family has been involved in the WA beekeeping industry for over 100 years, so we have a good knowledge of the local apiary industry. We also have strong scientific expertise, essential to understand the biology of the local native flora and the chemistry of the unique honeys derived from them.
We utilise our expertise to source a selected range of Active honeys from the best Beekeepers in WA and supply it, Pure, Raw and Natural directly to you
Honey is the remarkable natural product resulting from of over 65 million years of co-operative evolution between bees and flowering plants. Bees have developed it for the dual purpose of storing food for the colony during winter, and as an easily digestible and nutrient-rich food to feed growing juvenile bees. A bee’s only other food source is pollen, which provides protein and other nutrients.
Honey is an energy-dense food that also contains many ingredients essential for growth and good health. Bees make honey from nectar foraged from flowering plants (mostly spring and summer). After ingesting the nectar into a special honey stomach (called the Crop), the bees dehydrate it plus add enzymes to break down the sugars and carbohydrates before placing it into a honeycomb cell where it ripens into honey.
Honey from WA is composed of 72-82% simple sugars, 2-10% higher carbohydrates, 15-17% water, with the remainder consisting of up to 200 natural substances including enzymes, amino acids, organic acids, carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and aromatic substances. Many of these substances have beneficial properties.
No. Here in WA, we use a species of bee that loves to make honey, and our native flora provides much more nectar than the bees need for the small amount of honey they want to store over winter or to feed growing juveniles. We harvest honey during spring and summer when there is an abundant supply, so it does not cause them any harm at all.
WA beekeepers also typically winter their bees in coastal woodlands where trees like Banksia continue to produce nectar though the colder months. The bees forage this nectar and pollen during the warmer days when they can leave the hive, providing them with an additional source of food.
Raw honey has almost the same composition as honey in a beehive. Raw honey is not heat treated (pasteurised) or ultra-filtered. Heating and filtering honey remove all of the beneficial natural substances plus changes the chemistry of some of the sugars.
Extracting honey from the comb does remove some volatile aromatic compounds, so it you want to know the true taste of honey, try some honeycomb.
Probiotic substances contain beneficial living micro-organisms such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli that, when ingested, increase their concentration in the large intestines. Prebiotics are compounds that serve as food for the beneficial bacteria.
Honey is not regarded as a probiotic substance, but it is prebiotic. It contains oligosaccharides and other high order carbohydrates which the good bacteria utilize to make nutrients that we can use.
Jarrah honey is a very good prebiotic as it promotes production of Butyric Acid (BTA) compared to other honey varieties. BTA is a saturated, short-chain fatty acid which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Consumption of foods with a high concentration of BTA is linked to a lowered risk of colon cancer.
No, our honey is not pasteurised. Honey can’t be described as “Raw” if it has been pasteurized. Pasteurising honey to kill fungal spores involves heating to 60 or 70oC, then rapid cooling. All honey imported into Western Australia must be pasteurised to prevent introduction of the nasty diseases that are not present in the state.
No, our honey is not ultra-filtered. Ultra-filtration is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove all the natural fine particles in honey (pollen, wax and propolis). The purpose is to either conceal the origin of the honey (by removing the pollen) or to impede the crystallisation process that happens naturally in most honeys.
Honey stored in a moisture-proof container at room temperature can last for an indefinite period. However, packaged honey must have a best before date, and we recommend consuming the honey before this date.
Most honeys will crystallise if stored for a long time, but his does not affect the quality of the honey.
Crystallisation (locally known as candying) is a natural process where honey converts from a liquid to a semi-solid state. The crystals are of glucose, one to the two major sugars in honey (the other being fructose). The glucose precipitates as small crystals around particles like pollen or wax. The rate at which candying occurs is determined mostly by the fructose to glucose (F/G) ratio; the lower the ratio (more glucose) the faster honey will candy.
A few rare honeys like Jarrah have an F/G ratio high to prevent (or significantly slow) candying. But most raw honey (including Marri and Karri) will candy over time.
If you want to return it to a liquid, you just need to re-dissolve the glucose crystals. The best way is to put the jar of honey into a container of warm water (no more than 45oC) and heat and stir gently till the crystals melt. The honey will start to melt when it reaches about 35oC. But be careful not to heat above 45 oC, as many of the beneficial enzymes and other constituents in raw honey will begin to degrade at higher temperatures.
If you are in a hurry, you can use a microwave. Microwave the open jar of honey in 10 second bursts, stirring between each burst. But be very careful as the honey will heat up very quickly.
But do try some of the candied honey before you melt it. Varieties like Karri are very nice in candied form.
he colour and flavour of honey is determined by the blend of sugars, carbohydrates and the many natural substances in the nectar from the floral source. Honey will also darken as it ages.
The thickness of honey is determined mostly by the water content. Our honey is very thick because our dry climate yields a moisture content of only 15-17% . Honey from cold or humid climates contain up to 20% water, and so are much less viscous.
It is recommended that babies under one year old are not given honey. Some fungal spores can survive in honey, so there is a very small risk of contracting infant botulism. Older children and adults are not affected by the spores as their gut has developed sufficiently to destroy them. It is best to seek the advice of your medical practitioner if you are concerned.
No, Forest Fresh only sells pure raw Western Australian honey.
Our premium Jarrah honey is Certified Organic, but not the Marri or Karri. Organic Certification of honey requires that both the Beekeeper be certified, and for the honey to be gathered from a certified site in the native forest, which is not always possible. However, all our honeys are gathered from native forests and packed at a Certified Organic facility.
Yes, we can post to most countries. Please contact us for postage details.
If your order is over $100 standard postage within Australia is free.