This business sort of just happened…
In April 2015, I pointed out an article to Sven that had a bigger effect than I had anticipated. It talked about bees disappearing at an alarming rate and the consequences humans could face if we didn’t do anything about it. It encouraged people to grow “bee friendly” plants in their garden and to keep bees.
Well, little did I know that Sven would hit the ground running with this new project!
We became members of the Central Coast Amateur Beekeepers association and started finding out more about the art of beekeeping.
We figured out that a good way to get bees, other than buying them, is to catch swarms. That also means saving bees that would possibly be sprayed with pesticides if they end up around a house. So, that was Sven’s plan: catch one or two swarms, settle them nicely in our backyard and we would be on our way to do our little bit for the bees and get some delicious honey in the process.
It turns out that a lot of the swarms end up looking for nice little nooks in roofs, underneath cladding, in garages etc and there are not that many people that want to cut into walls to get them out. Sven, however, was keen to do just that. Having experience in the building industry, he has the tools and the know how to do a pretty tidy job of it.
Spring came and with it many calls from people wanting to have unwanted bees removed. Fast forward to March 2016 and after collecting 48 swarms we ended up with 35 thriving colonies (some were very little and had to be merged and one didn’t like the luxury accommodation we had prepared for them).
In September 2016 we moved to a beautiful farm in Johns River, in the Middle North Coast of NSW, and between splits and new rescues we ended up with 75 colonies and we are continually growing our numbers.
During this process there has been a lot of learning (mostly for Sven, I am lagging a bit behind). Through teachings at the beekeeper’s association, specialised magazines, books, youtube “how to” videos and courses we are slowly learning the best techniques to keep our bees as happy as possible.
What was meant to be a side project has become so much more than that! We have realised that bees are fascinating, that honey (raw honey) is an incredible produce and that we are just touching the tip of the iceberg, not only in terms of learning about them, but also in terms of the work that needs to be done if we want to ensure a future with bees in it.
So, we’d better get busy!