By Sumeyya Ilanbey
More than 10 years ago, the alarm was raised about the decline of the world’s bee population.
Since then, there’s been a concerted global – and backyard – effort to reverse this tragedy. Craig Castree is one backyard beekeeper doing his bit.
About seven years ago, the Werribee man noticed “massive amounts” of honey were being produced in his suburban backyard by European honey bees foraging on his flowers.
He created a hive for one colony. Shortly after, Mr Castree noticed another colony and created another beehive.
“One thing lead to another … I now have 16 hives,” Mr Castree says. “One at home and 15 others on other people’s blocks of land … I host those hives and in return give the [landowners] some honey.”
You don’t need to have a big block of land for beekeeping – just passion and patience, according to Mr Castree.
And he’ll be hosting an ‘Introduction to Beekeeping’ information session at Taylors Hill next month to arm people with the skills, knowledge and tools to start their own hive.
“They don’t bite people, they sting,” Mr Castree says. “We’ve had lots of workshops on my property not one person has been stung except me … and that’s because I forget to practice what I preach.”
He harvests about 15 kilograms of honey per box, three times a year.
The information session will run from 6.30-8pm on Tuesday, September 4 at the Taylors Hill Neighbourhood House, 121 Calder Park Drive. Bookings are essential at www.meltonlearning.com.au