The Star partners with local Aboriginal community on bee honey trial
The Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), representing the island’s Traditional Owners the Quandamooka People, is working with The Star Entertainment Group to install 32 native bee hives on the island, traditionally known as Minjerribah.
In accordance with local Aboriginal customs, the honey will be collected at regular intervals throughout the trial by Quandamoooka People, Elders, and QYAC rangers, with each hive expected to generate up to 1kg of honey each year to be used exclusively across The Star’s menus.
Australia’s leading native bee expert and former CSIRO entomologist Dr Tim Heard said the native bee species being used for the trial are stingless and live in colonies, unlike most Australian bees.
“We have around 1500 species of bees in Australia with this particular species producing a unique and earthier taste sensation that is lighter and has a runnier consistency than normal honey, while still being incredibly delicious,” said Dr Heard.
“The bee hives are being placed in different terrains and locations – such as by the coast and in the bushland – to see if their locality provides different flavours or different honey production rates, which will be reviewed throughout the trial.”
Pending the trial’s outcomes, the initiative will look at establishing an Aboriginal native bee honey microfood business on the island, further research and development into honey production, and a potential Aboriginal eco-cultural tourism experience.
“We are proud to be part of this industry-first initiative with The Star Entertainment Group, with the next 18 months spent working together on how we can generate sustainable and capacity-building outcomes for our Aboriginal community,” said QYAC CEO Cameron Costello.
“We value The Star’s support to develop economic opportunities for a regional Aboriginal community like ours, which will also complement The Star’s future developments such as Queen’s Wharf Brisbane. It would be an incredible opportunity and boost for our community to have our honey play a starring role as the key ingredient in dishes at their premium dining outlets and five and six-star developments.”
The Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier said the company was proud to join QYAC in developing the initative.
“This partnership will help increase our understanding of local Aboriginal heritage, culture, food, and customs, which is incredibly important to our south-east Queensland properties,” said Bekier.
“Food is a key part of our retail strategy for both our $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane integrated resort development, which will feature 50 new restaurants, cafes, and bars in the CBD; as well as our ongoing expansion at The Star Gold Coast, worth up to $850 million, which has already launched six new restaurants and one bar with more to come.”