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1. (WO2019033162) BIOACTIVE HONEY PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT AND METHOD
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CLAIMS

The claims defining the invention are:

1 . An artificially-created honey-yielding environment comprising a hive and, associated therewith, a flora cell, within which first and second plant populations cohabit, one of which has been artificially introduced, and within which honey-producing insects from the hive are permitted to forage, the first population being selected as a primary source of a nectar from which a bioactive honey type is derivable, and the second being selected as a source of a nutrient not available from the first species at a nutritionally adequate level for sustaining said foraging honey-producing insects for returning to the hive.

2. The environment of claim 1 wherein the cell comprises a structure defining a physical boundary to honey-producing insect flight.

3. The environment of claim 2 wherein the cell comprises a plurality of suspended plant containers.

4. The environment of claim 2 wherein the cell structure covers terrain of an extent sufficient to define a physical boundary to honey-producing insect flight beyond it.

5. The environment of any one of the preceding claims wherein said first population comprises a Leptospermum species.

6. The environment of claim 5 wherein the Leptospermum species is selected from at least one of Leptospermum polygalifolium, L. liversidgei, L. whitei, L. speciosum, L. petersoni, L. scoparium, L. riparium and their subspecies and hybrids.

7. The environment of claim 6 wherein the subspecies of Leptospermum polygalifolium is selected from one or more of L p. ssp. cismontanum, L. p. ssp. transmontanum and L. p. ssp. tropicana.

8. The environment of any one of the preceding claims wherein the nutrient from the second population comprises protein.

9. The environment of claim 8 wherein the second population comprises the species Corymbia maculata.

10. The environment of any one of the preceding claims wherein the first population and the second population are present in a numerical ratio in a range selected according to the resident honey-producing insect species.

1 1 . The environment of claim 10 wherein the numerical ratio of the first population to the second population is in a range selected for maximizing bioactivity of the honey sourced from said first population.

12. The environment of claim 9 wherein the ratio for European Honey Bees is in the range from 10 to 6 of the first to the second population.

13. The environment of any one of the preceding claims wherein the second population is located substantially to surround the first population.

14. The environment of any one of the preceding claims wherein the second population is located further from the hive than the first population.

15. An artificially-created honey-yielding environment comprising:

a. a honey-producing insect foraging cell containing controlled flora comprising a first population of primary honey-source plants and a second population of plants selected as a source of a supplemental nutrient, augmenting nutrition for foraging honey-producing insects, wherein the honey-producing insects derive nectar for producing bioactive honey from the primary source and augment their nutrition for foraging from the nutrition-providing species, and

b. a hive located within foraging distance of the cell and within which

honey-producing insects of a species selected for collecting nectar from the first population are resident,

wherein at least one of the populations has been artificially introduced to the cell to cohabit with the other population.

16. An honey-yielding environment according to claim 15, wherein the flora is controlled by way of removing unwanted species from the cell.

17. An honey-yielding environment according to claim 15 or claim 16, wherein the flora is controlled by cultivating the introduced population in a viable quantity to grow in the cell.

18. An honey-yielding environment according to any one of claims 15 to 17, wherein the cell is a bounded zone within the environment, within which the honey-producing insects are incentivized to forage by populating it with plants of the first population.

19. An honey-yielding environment according to claim 18 wherein the zone is maximized in territorial extent at least to correspond to the range of foraging of the honey-producing insects.

20. An honey-yielding environment according to any one of claims 15 to 19, wherein the first population comprises plants selected for sourcing of a bioactive honey.

21 . An honey-yielding environment according to claim 20 wherein the first

population comprises plants of the family Leptospermum.

22. An honey-yielding environment according to claim 21 wherein the first population comprises Leptospermum polygalifolium and subspecies thereof.

23. An honey-yielding environment according to any one of claims 13 to 20, wherein the nutrient from the second population comprises a protein.

24. An honey-yielding environment according to any one of claims 15 to 23, wherein the populations are grown in a substrate of acidic soil.

25. An artificially-created bioactive honey-producing cell having a layout comprising first and second plant populations growing in a ratio of individual numbers or of biomass wherein the ratio is selected according to a known foraging range of honey-producing insects selected for release into the cell from a hive therein, for nectar collecting and wherein the first population is selected as a primary source of nectar for producing a bioactive honey and the second population is selected for its capacity to supplement nutrition of the foraging honey-producing insects, maintaining their metabolism and repairing tissue.

26. A honey-producing cell according to claim 25, wherein the second population is selected to make up for a deficiency in protein in the nectar of the first population.

27. A honey-producing cell according to claim 26, wherein the first population comprises a species of Leptospermum and the second population comprises a species suitable as a source of protein for the honey-producing insects.

28. A honey-producing cell according to any one of claims 25 to 27, wherein individuals of the second population are located at a distance from the hive that corresponds to a known maximum foraging range of the honey- producing insects.

29. A bioactive honey-farming method comprising steps of :

a. creating a flora cell populated with a first population of bioactive honey- producing plants and a second population of plants selected for providing nutrition for nectar-collecting insects and

b. providing an insect hive located within said cell,

c. allowing insects from the hive to forage in the first population for bioactive honey-producing nectar and in the second population for nutrition to returning to the hive without significant depletion of the nectar gathered from the first population.

30. The method of claim 29, further comprising the step of collecting bioactive honey from the hive.

31 . The method of claim 29 or claim 30, further comprising the step of arranging plants from the respective populations in an array defining a matrix of said populations interspersed.

32. The method of any one of claims 29 to 31 wherein the first population comprises a leptospermum species.

33. The method of claim 32, wherein the species is selected from L. polygalifolium, L. speciosum, L. scoparium, L. whitei, L. liversidgei, L. petersoni, L. riparium and combinations thereof.

34. The method of claim 33, wherein the population includes a subspecies of the species L. polygalifolium, said subspecies being selected from L. p. ssp. tropicana, L. p. ssp. montanum, L. p. ssp. cismontanum and L. p. ssp. transmontanum.

35. The method of any one of claims 29 to 34 including selecting a locating for the hive within the cell by taking into account honey-producing insect health and foraging radius.

36. The method of claim 35 including optimizing honey-producing insect

health at the expense of foraging radius.

37. The method of any one of claims 29 to 36 including maximizing cell radius in respect of hive location, whereby the maximized radius corresponds to known foraging range from the hive location of the honey-producing insects of the cell.

38. The method of claim 37 comprising selecting honey-producing insects for the hive population on the basis of having a foraging range within predetermined parameters relative to the maximized radius.

39. The method of claim 37 or 38 including predicting bioactive honey volume yield from the cell based on application of the proportionality relationship:

Maximum bioactivity per volume = function of [(R . Pn / Nn) . Fn]

where

R = Radius of cell

Pn = number of bioactive honey-providing species in the cell population

Nn = number of nutrition species in the cell population, and

Fn = number of hives.

40. The method of any one of claims 28 to 40 wherein the honey-producing insects are European honey bees,

41 . The method of claim 40 including inducing the bees to forage on the first population by locating the second population further from the hive than the first population.

42. A method of maximizing the foraging range of bioactive honey-producing insects from a hive, the method including the steps of establishing an honey-yielding environment comprising a first population of plants yielding nectar from which bioactive honey is producible and a second population of plants yielding pollen having nutritional properties for the honey- producing insects, and allowing the honey-producing insects to forage in said environment.

43. A method according to claim 42 wherein a majority of members of the first population are located between the hive and the second population.

44. A method according to claim 42 or claim 43 wherein the majority

constitutes at least 80% of the first population by number.

45. A method according to any one of claims 42 to 44, wherein the method includes establishing the honey-yielding environment as a controllable environment.

46. A method according to claim 45 wherein the environment is rendered controllable by enclosing said environment under covering means.

47. A method according to claim 46, wherein the covering means comprises a dome structure adapted for opening and closing for controlling the passage of honey-producing insects therethrough.

48. A method according to any one of claims 42 to 47, wherein the second population defines a nutrient belt between the controllable environment and the wider environment at large.