Keeping a personal hive as a hobby is a fantastic introduction to beekeeping, and a great way to find out if it’s something you want to take on as a career. One of your first decisions will be to decide if you’ll keep native Australian bees, or honey bees.
There are two types of bees you can keep in Australia:
The choice between these two will depend on a variety of factors including where you are located, your motivations for keeping bees, for example, to promote pollination or produce honey, and how much honey you want to produce. Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll be on your way to owning and caring for your very own hive.
Taking on the responsibility of our littlest livestock, bees, isn’t something to embark on lightly, as like all animals they are precious and need regular TLC and a knowledgeable beekeeper (that might be you!).
Before you start your beekeeping hobby, and especially during the early days you’re learning the craft, it is very important you find an experienced mentor to support you in learning about bee husbandry and biosecurity requirements. The best way to find a mentor is by joining a local beekeeping club or association.
You’ll find all official beekeeper associations per state, linked below. Your respective state association will be able to advise you which local branch or social club is closest to you and how to join.
A commercial beekeeper is generally described as someone who keeps more than 300 hives, but amongst the Capilano professional beekeeping community, our beekeepers run as many as 1500 hives or more at a time as a full-time job and manage a crew of workers to ensure the bees are properly cared for. More often than not commercial operations are run by whole families with the hard work being done by fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and even grandchildren. Our beekeepers are continually learning the craft from each other, the team here at Capilano, and importantly, undertaking training and workshops to develop their skills further.
Commercial beekeepers are one of the most important farmers in Australian agriculture. When their bees are not busy producing pristine delicious Capilano honey in the Aussie bushland, they are helping pollinate important food crops that help feed us all, such as avocados, blueberries and almonds. As such, our beekeepers are constantly seeking up-to-date training to ensure they are compliant with biosecurity and food safety laws.
In Australia we have some wonderful state-level beekeeping associations. Discover their websites and reach out to make your next step towards becoming a beekeeper!
Be inspired by our Capilano beekeepers stories or watch the video below to discover a day in the life of a Capilano beekeeper!