Just 350 metres from our Woollahra, east sydney organic food store, in the bustling and busy heart of the eastern suburbs, landscape architect and arborist Elke Haege runs a thriving apiary from the terrace of her first floor apartment.
We were lucky enough to visit Elke one sunny Friday to see how she fits such an impressive operation into a small urban space. It’s a different world up on her terrace: the sounds of traffic fade away and you find yourself in a lush, leafy oasis of banana trees, lemongrass, succulents, stevia, chilli peppers and herbs of every imaginable variety. Elke has four hives and approximately 340 000 bees in her care, and the population will only get bigger with the queens (there’s one in each hive) laying up to 1200 eggs every day!
Elke’s bees fly between her terrace (they’re particularly fond of her perennial basil at the moment) and nearby Centennial Park, pollinating a wide variety of local flora. As Elke explains raw local honey is superior to other options not only because it incurs zero food miles but because the bees produce locale specific antibodies that boost immunity and help combat allergies like hayfever.
Elke Honey is now available at our Queen Street store. Delivered on foot by the lady herself it’s a sweet, translucent and lightly grassy honey with a lot of character: the kind to savour on toast.
Elke’s website: http://www.elkeh.com.au/node/17
Elke’s facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElkeHaegeLandscapeArchitects