Meet the Australian Native Bee
Bees play an important role in the production of macadamia nuts. Australia has around 1800 to 2000 species of native bees.
Eleven of those species are small, black, stingless bees. One of these stingless bee species, Tetragonula carbonaria, has a close affinity with the macadamia, having also evolved in Australia. It has been pollinating macadamias in the forests of Australia for thousands of years.
It was pollinating wild macadamias in the bush long before Europeans and honeybees came to Australia.
Bee populations are under threat worldwide.
Australian macadamia farmers are well aware of just how important bees are to their farms and look after all bees, both native and European honeybees, that live on the orchards.
Alongside our growers, Nutworks are helping to increase the native bee population by propagating hives on their macadamia orchards.
The war on waste
In past times, tonnes of macadamia shells were discarded after the important kernel was extracted for consumption. Now, the shell of our native nut is a prized product that is recycled into some of the most unlikely products.
Various ways macadamia shell is reused and recycled include the production of macadamia oil, biochar and even renewable energy.
Nutworks use the “residual dust”, a by-product of the cracking and sorting process, to manufacture our macadamia oil.
Macadamia oil is extremely high in monounsaturated fat and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
These nourishing oils contain useful amounts of the antioxidant manganese that is essential for your skin to produce the collagen it needs to stay plump and wrinkle free.
Biochar is the result of burning macadamia shells at a high temperature in a special, low oxygen environment.
The resulting product called biochar, has to pass certain tests to confirm its carbon content and safety.
It is then used as a soil enhancer to make soils more fertile and to store carbon in the soil so that it is not released as a greenhouse gas.
The process of making biochar can actually produce electricity!
The biochar process creates oil and gas byproducts that can be used as fuel for renewable energy plants.
If the biochar is used to enhance soils and the process used to make it can produce renewable energy, this system is “carbon negative” and is an important weapon to limit climate change.