Jarrah and marri honey: A liquid goldrush of medical benefits

I found this interesting. Higher medicinal properties than NZ Manuka honey. The flow frames will make it easier for me, as a hobbyist to sort between my urban honey and when the Marri flowers.


Watch the full story on Landline Sunday, February 11, at the new time of 12.30pm.
ABC TV Australia


I didn’t know about the Rottest Island breeding program. Rottnest Is is a small island 16Km off the coast from Perth. When Western Australia prohibited the import of any honey product to protect the industry from the nasties, they set up a breeding colony on Rottest to keep a continuous supply of disease free queens.

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Yeah but I don’t really get it.

So they take queens and drones to the island? Or has this article got it wrong?

@AdamMaskew the thing is there is no rating for these honeys. I’ve seen ‘jarrah honey’ at the markets for $14/kg. Manuka has its UMF rating, although I’ve read this is fudged too. I’d imagine we sell the majority of jarrah honey to China while we import their rice syrup, er I mean honey, for supermarkets.
As marri is the primary bloom now I wouldn’t say it’s 100% marri nectar and wouldn’t advertise it as such. I do plant seeds though. :wink:

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My take is that the queens can mate with the drones on the island, not every Tom Dick and Harry she takes a fancy to on the mainland. You can examine/ determine a virgin queen is clean, but them blokes out there :heart_eyes::heart_eyes: thats another story. You know you just cannot predict where she goes or who she has been with.
But if you have a place where there are only nice boys to play with (because you have checked them out and brought them along) then she won’t pick up any nasties in those intimate moments.

I also believe that this is practised for when the nasties come. And they will come because some people (and it only takes one person) have no regard for the spread of disease nor are they concerned for the beekeepers lively hood …only their own selfish little world


I’m looking forward to seeing when the research-based evidence becomes available.

I like their idea of “Traceability and chain of custody models” - to ensure the honey is what it says it is :slight_smile:

@skeggley hopefully it will come with time. It is almost a cottage industry in WA and it seems like it is going to get a bit more organised. I’ve seen one of the fears is the bigger players squeezing out the little guys. We’ll see what happens over time.

My understanding of the Rotto program is that it is an isolated mating area. No other bees so you know the quality of the queen cells and drones you take over each year and can have some success in selective breeding. I understand traits they are looking for are production, gentleness, non swarming and hygiene. Not sure what hygiene there working on as we don’t have any pests and only a couple of diseases. But they must be doing something right as they are in demand not just from our local industry but world wide.


I believe they want the working model up and running when WA does get all the crappy diseases. As I said earlier they will come just a matter of time.

I posted this somewhere else a while back but you can download the PDF on the research paper here:

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But how do you select for resistance when your not getting feedback because of the absence of the pest and diseases your trying to breed resistance too?


:upside_down_face: I don’t really know. However I do know that it is common practice to import the bug, disease or whatever you want to target into specially quarantined labs wherethey can do trials.
The Rottest Is breeding programm I believe is to have in place a system of supplying disease free queens to industry in the case of an outbreak.
The disease resistance program is separate form that and is to eradicate the beasties when when do get here.
That’s the way I read it.

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yeah, but what if they trip up carrying the container or something? :anguished:

That’s the danger all right. People make mistakes.
However the risk is usually tiny in proportion to the gains which may be achieved.


Yep and my dad used to say “Nothing can go wrong… Nothing can go wrong… Nothing can go wrong… Nothing can go wrong…”
Don’t get me started…

I would say your Dad was an optimist. I like to stay optimistic …you will live longer and enjoy your Grandchildren. :sunglasses:

Here is the full ABC Landline video

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I’ve been thinking about this topic while I’ve been boring my coworkers and friends discussing the current red gum bloom, and am curious as to whether it’s the nectar itself that has the medicinal properties or, if it only has these properties after the bees process the nectar into honey.
Any ideas?

I think the bees enhance it. TOS used to use parts of the red gum and Marri for traditional medicine, with out the benefit of European honey bees processing it first.

Tastes good. As sweets deprived children in the bush we would grab a small bunch of blossom and pull off the stamens (Eucalypts don’t have petals) and lick out the nectar with our tongues. And no it did the tree no harm.

just watched that- I’ve always loved Landline and that was a good one. There was one point where a beek scraped off some cappings on the frame and the honey underneath looked almost clear like water? Looked amazing. The whole bit about clearing millions of tonnes of trees for cheap firewood sold at a loss was typically disappointing- as was the government representative’s comments about how they would do ‘whatever made the most jobs’- as opposed to doing what made the most sense…