Introducing Andrew Wyszynski, of Maya Sunny Honey in the Mudgee region of NSW. Andrew is the 38th farmer I have featured this year in my quest to feature 52 farming stories to celebrate the Australian Year of the Farmer.
Summary of our farming enterprise:
Maya Sunny honey is a 100% raw honey range, handcrafted wholly by Andrew and his hard working bees. Andrew believes honey should be enjoyed in its most pure form, allowing full benefit of its nutritional properties. Maya Sunny Honey is a family run business. From picking the jars to exhibiting the range everyone has contributed to the final image of Maya Sunny Honey.
The founder Andrew Wyszynski is from second generation beekeeper, both of Andrews parents are beekeepers. Growing up in Poland, Andrew was introduced to bees at a very young age. He would always be helping out in the bee farm. After completing 5 years of study as an Apiarist, he became a lecturer in bee biology.
Andrew wanted to show people the natural beauty of the honeycomb structure. It was his dream to capture this in a glass jar. In 1988, Andrew and his family moved to Australia for a better climate for the bees. He worked for an international company that produced queen bee insemination. With a language barrier it took Andrew a few years to establish his own honey range. In 2011, Maya Sunny Honey was launched. The range consists of 8 products that including the unique honeycomb production. A set of empty jars are placed upside down on top of a Beehive allowing the bees to travel from the hive into each jar creating honeycomb from scratch. This delicate and precise system took Andrew over 30 years to make this dream into reality. To get bees into the jar is hard but to get them all out is even harder. How we do that is our secret.
For you, what is the best lifestyle factor that you enjoy as a farmer?
In this civilised rushed world, our product you can see, touch and taste. The farming lifestyle is much more relaxing and satisfying. You’re not wrapped up in all the rush of the city. You feel that you are making a difference today but an even bigger difference tomorrow. It is important to respect nature and in return nature will give us twice as much back. The best thing about working on the farm is being able to work with nature. It is just amazing to see what these clever insects can do without the help of technology, navigation. Andrew has always been so fascinated by the bees. Not everyone is able to experience the farm so Andrew decided to capture nature in a jar and bring it to them. Andrew has also captured Propolis, a natural healing enzyme on the rim of the lid when opening the honeycomb jar. The air of a working beehive is captured in each jar. It takes the bees roughly 4 week to complete each jar. Once the honeycomb is built, we simply bring it straight to the consumer.
What do you foresee as your biggest short term and long term challenges in farming?
On top of keeping our bees healthy, we need to protect them from diseases and be informed of what is happening around the world. We need to support Australian Beekeepers and farmers. There are many challenges farmers are faced with daily. For us one of our main concerns is national security and water security. The Government needs to be controlling everything that is getting imported to Australia. Currently in Australia beekeepers are / can be faced with 2 of the main deceases – the small hive beetle (SHB) and the varroa mite.
The challenges that beekeepers are faced with is the small hive beetle. The small hive beetle attacks weak hives, they overpopulate the bees, and eventually the bees become affected by the beetle. It is very important that beekeepers keep their beehives strong to prevent the small hive beetle attacking the hives.
Long term challenges that Beekeepers may face is a destructive mite called varroa mite. At the moment Australia is the only country that isn’t affected by the mite. This is why the Government has to keep a close control on what is coming into Australia. Beekeepers are aware of the challenges that this may hold on farming and production.
Through water security, we need to make sure we don’t run out of water. In Andrews opinion, Australia’s flora and fauna are most prepared than anywhere else around the world, for the changing climate. Australia has a lot of land and we are able to produce a lot of natural food.
The most important thing for civilization is food. Each year the population of people keeps growing. Australia has a lot of land and Australia should be using the land to the fullest. Andrew’s aim is to educate people of the importance of bees and educate about organic food and living. Because of bees, civilisation is apparent, without the bees we cannot turn back time and bring them back.
We are very proud that live bees, the live flowers, and the live bee product are making a big impact on people. We have had an enormous interest from the public here in Australia and overseas on our raw products. We believe that our products represent the beautiful natures of Australia perfectly. With having this in thought we believe Australia has the perfect opportunities to produce honey and honey products on a big scale. We think the Government should look at this closely, because Australian wealth is nature, and nature should be used to its fullest especially by the bees. The government should educate the public more about nature and ecology. Australia is the perfect country for producing honey and honey products and has enormous potential in exporting and showing off Australia’s purest natural goodness, honey.
What do you wish non-farmers / city people and the Australian Government understood about farming. What message would you like to put on a billboard in Collins Street?
We live in a society where civilization on an enormous scale affects the entire world. We as humans are very quick to adapt to change. Change to climate, change to technology and change to biology. We tend to forget that bees are one of the few very important things left on earth that has not changed. No bees, no honey, no honey, no pollination, no pollination, no life. Bees pollinate flowers, flowers grow fruit, fruit feed the animals, and we eat animals. The most common product from bees is honey, bees also produce pollen, propolis, royal jelly, wax and sting. It is an important cycle that we tend to sometimes forget. It is important to keep our bees healthy and strong for us to live. If we help them, they will help us. Our message to the public is simple No bees, No life.
‘If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live.’ Albert Enstein
Contact details for Maya Sunny Honey: