To the delight of a local Glen Innes beekeeping family, Australian beekeepers are being celebrated in a new campaign for their dedication and hard work that goes into every jar of honey.
Glen Innes based beekeeper Timothy Alt is one of the nation's "forgotten farmers" who is headlining the Proudly Local campaign that celebrates the dedication and hard work that goes into every jar of honey, while also providing a window into the world of beekeeping.
Mr Alt, who features in the NSW/ACT campaign package and farms around 1000 hives, said he hoped Proudly Local would help inspire the next generation of beekeepers.
"We need young people coming back through the industry because it's an art form, and it's one of those jobs that not everybody can do," he said.
A particular skillset is required to be a beekeeper, according to Mr Alt, who says you need to be passionate about the work you do.
"To be a good beekeeper you've got to be able to go and find good spots to put your bees," he said.
"You've got to be able to read trees. You've got to know if the trees are going to produce honey."
The Proudly Local campaign also connects shoppers with honey producers in their region.
The Capilano Proudly Local range, a state-by-state product that promises the honey in the jar comes solely from beekeepers in the relevant state, will appear in stores around the country.
"I've been supplying Capilano honey all my life," Mr Alt said.
"The honey is pristine, it's a clean and green product that comes from forests and private properties all over Australia. We just produce a beautiful product for the people of Australia.
"The best way consumers can support us is to buy Australian honey.
"And if you support us, you're supporting Australia."
After being in the industry all his working life Mr Alt said there is nothing else he would rather be doing.
"I love working in the outdoors, working with the bees," he said.
"You're away from home a lot and missing your family, but it's very rewarding."
As part of the Proudly Local campaign, Mr Alt has shared his experiences of caring for the 'littlest livestock' and the impact of being the 'forgotten farmers'.
Australian beekeepers have been fighting back after a challenging year marked by bushfires, honey shortages and border closures, calling on consumers to buy local and educate themselves about how their food reaches the table.
COVID-19 has brought a range of challenges for beekeepers, who often travel vast distances in search of flowering trees that are perfect for their bees.
This comes after a period where drought, heat and bushfire killed millions of bees, decimated food sources and prompted the worst honey season on record.
Showing their ability to bounce back Aussie beekeepers have stayed strong during these times of hardship.
"You never stop learning in this industry, but if you get into it, you just keep enjoying it," Mr Alt said.
Hive + Wellness CEO Ryan d'Almeida believes it is important to show the hardworking families, and share their stories.
"Consumers increasingly want to know where products have come from, both for quality reasons and because they want to back local industry,' Mr d'Almeida said.
"This new range allows them to support not just Australian beekeepers, but beekeepers in their home state.
"We are grateful to our featured beekeepers for providing a window into their fascinating work."
The label on each Proudly Local pack features a local beekeeper and shares a little of their beekeeping story with the consumer.