Guests immersing themselves in the Saffire Freycinet Beekeeping Experience.
Guests immersing themselves in the Saffire Freycinet Beekeeping Experience.

Freycinet hive-to-honey immersive experience

IMMERSE yourself in the world of beekeeping with Saffire Freycinet horticulturalist Rob Barker as he takes you through the extraordinary natural experience.

Dressed in a full-body apiarist suit, guests venture into the nearby private apiary to get up close the hives to witness thousands of Tasmanian bees at work, and extract warm, fresh honeycomb to experience the breathtaking natural phenomenon of honey-making.

"With up to 60,000 bees per hive, beating their wings 230 times each second, this is actually quite an adrenalin-filled experience," Rob Barker says. His calming influence on both guests and bees ensures the bees are undisrupted throughout the encounter.

"Such immersion in nature is as fascinating as it is exciting, particularly as bees are the cornerstone of our ecosystem, without which our world would be a very different place."

The Freycinet Peninsula is rich in biodiversity, and Rob's bees forage happily on the area's flowering native flora such as the abundant and medicinal leptospermum scoparium (manuka), fragrant kunzea ambigua, and bursaria spinose (prickly box).

The flavour of resulting honey is ever-changing with the strong seasonal variation, unlike monofloral varieties often found elsewhere. This results in a honey with a completely distinctive, unrepeatable flavour profile, and also has the highly sought-after medicinal qualities of manuka honey

The experience was launched mid-December 2018. It creates another link between Saffire guests and local producers of premium Tasmanian food and beverage.

"Rob turned up at Saffire one day selling his locally produced honey," Saffire General Manager, Justin King, said. "We tried it, realised it was exceptional and began using it in our kitchen immediately - but it was Rob's passion for bees and the creation of honey that helped us realise there was a bigger opportunity here for our guests."

Saffire's culinary experience stipulates that 80 per cent of produce is sourced locally on the island with the Tasmanian-born executive chef Iain Todd often incorporating the raw, wild, unheated and pure honey from the apiary in a variety of dishes on the daily-changing menu.

"Talking to international guests, they're shocked at the flavour in Rob's honey because it has a terroir you just don't get in Europe and the United States," Chef Todd said.

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