'The Lord inspired the Bee to dwell in the Fields, to lodge in Trees, in Hives, and to eat all sorts of Fruits,
it produceth Honey of divers colours that serveth for a remedy to the diseases of Men.'
The Alcoran of Mahomet, The Chapter of the Bee, Trans. by Alexander Ross 1649

Health Benefits

Throughout the history of humankind, honey has held an incredibly important place in society for religious, medicinal, gastronomical and ceremonial purposes.
Although processed sugar has taken precedence over honey for everyday use in most households, dozens of scientific papers are published each year that validate the use of honey for nutritional and medicinal benefits.
Natural honey and honeycomb are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, unique aromas, and contain more than 200 natural substances, some of which do not occur elsewhere. Each variety of honey has unique properties, and can enhance energy, aid sleep, heal wounds, cure sore throats and colds, and provide relief from hay fever. Honey is also both a prebiotic and probiotic and soothes and aids digestion and gut health.
Natural beekeeping is low-input, extensive and regenerative in contrast to conventional beekeeping which is often high input, intensive and extractive.  Therefore, by supporting this style of apiculture you are increasing the health of both the human and bee communities in addition to supporting environmental health.


Bees gather a diverse range of pollens for their needs inside the colony – primarily as a protein rich food for the adult bees and developing brood. Honeybee colonies have a reliance on bacterial symbionts to process this relatively indigestible forage (pollen) into highly nutritious food (bee bread) and to provide protection against pathogens.

There are more than 1,000 different species of beneficial bacteria living in bees and bee bread, an extraordinary number that illustrates the complexity and diversity of the honeybee microbiome (some of these bacteria are also found in wine, yoghurt and other food fermentation processes).

Recent research has confirmed scientifically what traditional cultures have understood intuitively; that wild honey - full of propolis and bee bread - is not just a food but a wonderful natural medicine.
Malfroy's Gold comb with cells of bee bread (fermented pollen)
Bee bread on Warré comb, Central Tablelands, 2020

Natural bee husbandry and the honeybee microbiome

Interestingly, the microbiome in genetically diverse colonies has been found to be broader and healthier than those found in less diverse colonies. A key element of natural beekeeping is letting colonies raise their own queens and allowing them to ‘open mate’ in the local environment, resulting in colonies with a diverse genetic makeup (the queen will mate with dozens of drones from the strongest surrounding colonies).

This means that colonies have a healthier ‘extended gut’ (i.e. the microbial community associated with the inoculation, maturation and distribution of bee bread inside the nest) and are more able to control disease, and it also results in that broad and healthy pollen diversity appearing in the harvested surplus honey, giving it a nutritional advantage. This is particularly true for natural comb Warré hives, as we harvest and process the entire comb, meaning all those beneficial bacteria end up in the bottled honey (in contrast to conventional honey production where combs are spun out in a centrifugal extractor and re-used).

Beneficial Bacteria in Warré hive honey

Malfroy's Gold Wild Honeycomb with cells of bee bread (fermented pollen)
Cross section of wild honeycomb showing cells of bee bread amongst the honey stores. Photo © Kirsten Bradley
Malfroy's Gold Wild Honey with beneficial bacteria from bee bread
Open cells containing bee bread are usually located next to the broodnest
Beneficial bacteria found in honey harvested with high amounts of ‘bee bread’ (fermented pollen) are contributors to gut health. Research has shown that Warré honey from post brood combs has up to 86,000 times the amount of pollen compared to conventionally produced, micro filtered honey.

Our post-brood Wild Honey contains 144 times the amount of pollen found in organically produced ‘raw’ honey. These results show that Wild honey from Warré hives has superior health benefits in regards gut health, in addition to being produced in a more ethical and sustainable manner.

For more information about pollen counts and medicinal activity in Warré hive honey, please read ‘Bee-guided Pharmacognosy' by David Heaf.


Another beneficial feature of our Warré hive honey is the presence of high amounts of propolis. Similar to honey and bee bread, propolis is gathered from raw materials (plant resin/kino) in the environment and transformed by the bees inside the hive. Propolis is used as an antimicrobial agent to polish the cells of the broodnest, create a germ-free entrance (the word propolis derives from the Greek language and can be roughly translated as meaning ‘before, or in defense of the city’), and to coat the interior walls of nest to create a ‘propolis envelope’ resulting in a healthy atmosphere in and around the colony.

The post brood combs at the top of the nest (which were originally pure white) are coloured with propolis (resin) from years of use and are dark purple when harvested. As we harvest and press entire combs, high amounts of propolis end up in the bottled honey. Not only does this contribute to the health benefits of the honey, but also gives the honey a unique aniseed/garam masala fragrance.
Malfroy's Gold Propolis sap from Acacia
Sap pouring from the bark of the Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) in the Central Tablelands 2020
Malfroy's Gold Kino Reisn from Eucalyptus
Kino flowing from a Eucalypt, Blue Mountains, 2020

Raw materials for propolis

Plant resins/kino are complex phytochemicals that plants use to repair wounds and defend against pathogens. In the World Heritage Blue Mountains, dozens of unique plant species exude large quantities of kino – including, but not limited to Eucalypt, Angophera, Corymbia and Xanthorrhoea species. The most well known of these are the Bloodwoods (Corymbia) – named so for the dark red or yellow ‘blood’ that flows down the trunk of the trees.

Our bees collect the kino from the Bloodwoods and many other rare and unique species and use it inside the colony, contributing to bee health and the unique terroir and health benefits of our honey.

Hive design and bee genetics

Malfroy's Gold Warré hives handmade from salvaged timber in the Blue Mountains
All our Warré hives are handmade from rough, salvaged timber. Bernhard and Tim at the woodshed in the upper Blue Mountains. Photo © Douglas Lance Gibson
Malfroy's Gold harvested wild raw blue mountains propolis
Raw propolis is harvested from the wooden boxes of our Warré hives for use in homemade balms and tinctures.
Although critically important for bee health, conventional beekeepers have bred out the propolis gathering traits of honeybees bees for many decades, as it a sticky substance that is a nuisance to beekeepers. In contrast, our wild bees collect vast quantities of propolis from the kino rich environment for their own health and well-being.

Conventional hives are often made from smooth, high grade plantation timber or plastic – surfaces that do not mimic the natural home of a bee colony or encourage propolis production by the bees. We encourage the bees to make propolis by using rough, salvaged timber for our beehives that closely mimic the surface found inside a tree hollow. When populating our hives with swarms, the bees coat the rough interior with propolis, creating a healthy environment for the colony to thrive.


What makes a honey pure and untainted?


A single bee colony covers a large area when foraging – many thousands of hectares – bringing the surrounding environment back to the hive. Honeys produced in dense urban areas or on industrial farmland may contain chemicals or pollutants. All our honey is produced in vast wilderness and woodland environments and is therefore guaranteed to be pure and untainted.

Permanent apiary sites

Most commercial apiarists worldwide are migratory – that is, their colonies are moved from place to place to capitalise on the infrequent, seasonal honeyflows that occur within driving distance of their operations. Most honeys that are promoted as being from pure locations are from colonies that are transported there from other often ‘less pure’ environments. All of our apiaries are in permanent locations - some hives have not been moved for over 10 years, so we can guarantee where all the honey is sourced from.
Malfroy's Gold Warré hive at a permanent apiary in the lower Blue Mountains
Warré hive at a permanent apiary in the lower Blue Mountains
Malfroy's Gold Colonies building natural virgin comb
Allowing colonies to build natural comb is a key factor in producing a pure and untainted honey

Natural comb

Nearly all honey produced worldwide is unfortunately produced on artificial comb, which is made from either wax or plastic. The purest honey is produced in hives where bees are allowed to construct their own combs. We are the only commercial beekeepers in Australia using 100% natural comb.

Chemical free

Chemicals are often used by beekeepers to treat pest or pathogens or to treat combs or hiveware; research has shown that many of the chemicals found in bee colonies are put there by beekeepers. In addition, many beekeepers use plastic combs or hives that may off-gas chemicals in the hive. Any of these practises may compromise the purity of the honey. We have never used any chemicals in our business – on the bees, hives or hiveware, and our hives are made from salvaged timber.

Gentle harvesting of ripe combs

Our honey is harvested gently with clearer boards. They are inserted between the surplus honey and rest of the nest and the bees move down onto the broodnest to keep it warm when the temperatures drop at night. We return two days later to harvest the boxes which are full of ripe honeycombs but free of bees, for processing. While requiring multiple visits to each apiary, the whole process is stress free for the bees and beekeeper.
Malfroy's Gold harvesting from a Warré apiary in the Blue Mountains
Gentle hand harvesting of combs results in a stress free procedure for the bees and the beekeeper © Photo Eric Tourneret

Gentle and minimal processing

The ripe combs are either sold ‘as is’ or pressed and/or strained at bee colony temperature. The straining process is gentle on the honey and does not oxidise the volatile aromatic compounds unlike the conventional approach of spinning combs in an extractor. The entire comb is pressed, meaning all the goodness of the comb – from the bees and environment, is retained in the honey.

Food safe storage

Our honey is bottled at low temperatures in locally manufactured glass jars, maintaining purity. The wild honey we produce may last thousands of years, and therefore has no ‘best before’ date on the jar.
Malfroy's Gold high quality products packed in local glass jars and cartons
Our high quality products are packed in locally manufactured glass jars and cartons
Malfroy's Gold Post Brood Wild Honeycomb Processing
Section of post brood Wild Honeycomb ready to be processed

Medicinal Activity

Malfroy's Gold Warré Box with frames full of Wild Post Brood honey
A box full of post brood Wild Combs ready for pressing and straining
It has also been proven that ‘post-brood’ honey produced from Warré hives has similar medicinal activity to that of a high grade Manuka or Jellybush honey. Interestingly, this activity may be due to the method of beekeeping and result from entomological rather than phytochemical processes. For more information, please read ‘Bee-guided Pharmacognosy’ by David Heaf.

Our own honeys from Warré hives have been tested at an independent laboratory (full details here) and received a Total Activity medicinal rating of TA 21+ to TA 39+ (equivalent UMF 21+ to UMF 39+).

These results confirm that each batch of our honey is classed as ‘highly active’.

More information will be provided here as we test more of our Wild honeys.