For Andrew Wyszynski, a love for bees was born out of a childhood spent in the countryside of Poland on his family’s apiary farm.
Now based in Mudgee and the owner of Maya Sunny Honey, he and his own hardworking bees handcraft delicious 100% raw honey products, based on a philosophy that honey should be enjoyed in its most pure form.
Working closely with his beloved hives, Andrew has never lost his fascination for his busy, buzzing colleagues, and is passionate about educating others on the wondrous role these tiny insects play in maintaining our ecosystem.
Here, he shares with us a few things he’s learned from a life with the bees.
“The best way to eat honey is definitely through the honeycomb. It is like eating honey straight from the hive.”
On doing what you love
As a child I would watch my dad work with a few beehives. While observing, I quickly noticed that the bees that would fly out of the hive were light and fast, whereas the bees flying back to the hive were heavier and slower. I also noticed that some of them were coated in different colours of pollen. My father would say to me that if I observe them quietly without disrupting their flight path, then the bees would not harm me.
Working with dad and the bees really fascinated me and I knew that I wanted to learn more and know everything there was about becoming an apiarist.
On the best way to eat honey
The best way to eat honey is definitely through the honeycomb. It is like eating honey straight from the hive. Honeycomb itself contains the largest amount of enzymes and antioxidants. It’s very beneficial to your health.
Sometimes I treat myself to honeycomb and cheese. It’s the perfect match.
On his unique in-jar production method
The honeycomb creation originally came from Poland. Working on the farm I wanted to capture pure nature in a glass bottle and showcase it in the big cities.
Made entirely from scratch, each jar is a mini beehive with about 450-500 bees working to sculpt an exceptional and unique comb. Each jar displays the natural alignment of the honeycomb production by the bees as well as capturing the air of the Australian beehive. Natural healing propolis provides the last touch by sealing the jar to give this product its natural and unique beauty.
This patented system is a very precious one. To get the bees into each jar is quite difficult but to get them all out is even harder. It has taken me over 35 years to develop this system.
On the difference between Polish and Australian bees
One of the biggest differences is that Australian native bees don’t produce as much honey as the European bees.
Another difference is that in Europe they have four very different seasons in the year. During winter the temperature dramatically decreases into the minus digits, which causes the queen bee not to produce any eggs, and the whole hive family of bees is inactive as they wait until the weather warms up and the flowers start blossoming. Cold temperatures cause the bees to be more aggressive.
This is the biggest difference between Polish/European bees compared to Australian bees. Here, our climate is very beneficial for our bees to work. Bees work on flowers in Australia for the entire year.
“Bees are critical in our ecosystem. We rely on bees to pollinate the flowers and without bees we wouldn’t be able to survive.”
On running a family business
Working with bees is not a typical job with typical hours. The work is outdoors on the farm, with a lot of travelling, moving hives that could weigh up to 50 kg each to different locations, as well as working in the warehouse packing jars and orders.
My daughters have watched me work and learnt as I did from my father. Through observing me, they have been fascinated by the bees, their biology and nature.
We all have different roles we play within the business but we share the same vision. Our vision is to educate people on the importance of bees and to showcase their unique creations in their most pure, untouched form.
To help us explain our story we have created a functioning observational hive that contains around 8,000 bees. The hive opens up from all angles, allowing people to witness how bees work and communicate with each other in a safe environment.
On what we can learn from bees
Observing bees for many years, I am fascinated by the different roles the bees have in the hive. Through the different stages of their life, to how they maintain the hive – their tidiness, precision, reaction to smells and taste, and their work ethics.
Bees are critical in our ecosystem. We rely on bees to pollinate the flowers and without bees we wouldn’t be able to survive. No bees, no life.
Discover more about Andrew and his family’s 100% raw honey range at mayasunnyhoney.com.au