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The Bee Whisperer: Andrew Wyszinski from Maya Sunny Honey

The Bee Whisperer: Andrew Wyszinski from Maya Sunny Honey

Second generation Polish bee keepers are not people you meet every day, especially ones with smiles as wide and secrets as coveted as Andrew Wyszinski's.

Andrew and his daughters are the team behind Maya Sunny Honey: the sophisticated, rich, organic honey and honeycomb from Mudgee in northern New South Wales.

Three parts expert and one part bee-whisperer, Andrew grew up amongst his parents' hives, studied apiary for 35 years and worked for a company whose sole focus was queen bee insemination.

So it should be only mildly surprising to learn that he's the only person in the world who can teach bees to build their individual honeycombs from scratch inside a jar, and then seal off each complete masterpiece without harming or trapping any bees inside.

The method behind these miniature jarred sculptures is the source of much furrowed-brow discussion. These days, every hipster and his pug is making raw honey from their rooftop hives – but only Andrew knows how to coax bees in and out of their hives and combs at his own will.

How he does it is anyone's guess.

“It's a very delicate and precise process,” Andrew has said. “You get the product as it is straight from the bee hive.”

Each honeycomb takes five hundred bees about four weeks to build. Each one is sealed in its upside down jar with propolis - a naturally healing resinous mixture that bees produce to use as sealants in their hives. This means, as Andrew happily regales, “the air of a working bee hive is also captured in each jar.”

Andrew moves the hives according to what's in flower, but most of the time they're kept in northern New South Wales where they're in close proximity to concentrated areas of May Gibbs' favourite hot pink and bright yellow flowers – the ones that bloom on Ironbark and Stringybark trees.

Warm amber and deep copper coloured respectively, Andrew's indigenous honeys are the real deal: unpasteurized to retain their nutritional value and as natural as it comes.

By presenting his products in their most natural form, Andrew hopes to educate people about the dangers faced by bees around the world: namely the deadly Varroa mite, the pollen-eating Small Hive Beetle and the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder - an increasingly prevalent phenomenon in Northern America and Europe in which which bees abruptly leave their hives and seem to disappear.

“We tend to forget that bees are one of the few very important things left on earth that have not changed,” Andrew has said.

Bees play a crucial role in the food chain which Andrew neatly sums up thus: “Bees pollinate flowers, flowers grow fruit, fruit feeds the animals, and we eat animals. No bees, no honey. No honey, no pollination. No pollination, no life.”

As Albert Einstein said, if the bee were to disappear from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.

“It is important to keep bees healthy and strong for us to live,” Andrew says. “If we help them, they will help us.”

Maya Sunny Honey is available here.
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