Updated: Apr 4
With Allexa's pregnancy in it's final stages the beekeeping duties were left to me, the more mobile of our duo at the time.
To be honest, I wasn’t super keen on the idea of bees when Allexa made the suggestion. My train of thought at that time was certainly more along the lines of growing an orchard of some type. Funny really, it was through necessity that my interest in beekeeping grew.
So we went all in! I left my job working in the Blue Gum plantations and my genuine curiosity of bees grew into a full-blown obsession. We'd made a big and conscious decision to grow our number of hives AND our family at the same time.
First things first, we needed to gain a bit more experience in beekeeping. I started by sending a simple email to a nearby commercial beekeeper with the subject heading "Work and learn". The timing was perfect. It turned out they really needed someone to help with the upcoming season on a casual basis. I was in.
Between the odd trip away helping my newly found mentor company extract honey I started answering calls. Word got around our small community that I could deal with bees, and anyone with an unwanted swarm or hive they needed to get rid of started tracking us down. At the time I thought it was a fantastic way to grow the number of hives we had.
I remember turning up to my first hive removal. Honestly I had very little idea what I was doing, but I fumbled my way through it and walked away with my first rescued hive.
That year we went from 1 hive to 30.
I’d be lying if I said they all survived and thrived. We worked so hard to make all of the hives and swarms happy, but as we found out beekeeping it an art form in. many ways. None the less, experience was gained and the writing was on the wall. Beekeeping was a path we wanted to really pursue with passion.
Surely though there was an easier way to really get up and running?
Feelers were put out for any commercial beekeepers who were selling up. In the mean time we would continue to learn and grow organically.