Spring harvest: Bee keepers Scott Denno and Amanda Collins from Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat with a selection of their hives. Photo: SUPPLIED

Backyard bees are sweet as!

September 16, 2020 BY

BEE lovers Amanda Collins and Scott Denno of Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat are hosting online sessions with tips and tricks for novice beekeepers.

For new owners or anyone thinking of buying a Flow Hive, the next Q and A session to learn more about the practice is set to be held 18 September.

Ms Collins said the session will aim to cover the basics to get started using a Flow Hive to harvest and extract honey.

Backyard Beekeepers extracting honey from their hives.

“We’ll be mainly talking about the differences between managing a Flow Hive and managing a straight forward non-Flow Hive,” she said.

“Things like how to preserve your wood, put together your boxes correctly, get your bees moving up into your Flow Hive super and tips and tricks for harvesting your honey.

“We get a lot of interest from people across the region who are interested in starting bee keeping and want to use a Flow Hive which is a specific type of honey super that makes honey extracting easier.”

Noticing the negative impacts of COVID and winter on the bee keeping community, Ms Collins and Mr Denno launched online social sessions to re-connect with other bee lovers.

“Winter is a down time for bee keeping, so people are feeling a bit bee deprived in addition to some of the impacts of COVID,” Ms Collins said.

“We started a virtual catch up of bee keepers on a Friday night to talk bees.

One of Backyard Beekeeping’s many beehives.

“From there, we decided to do a virtual question session on the 18th and the interest has been really overwhelming.”

The pair decided to harness this interest in the Q and A sessions into fundraising for their Hive Mind Community Apiary which was set to launch earlier this year.

In partnership with Ballarat and District Suicide Prevention Network and Spot on Pots and Nursery, Ms Collins said the aim of the apiary is to provide therapeutic intervention through bee keeping for people living with mental health conditions.

“We thought maybe it was an opportunity to turn it into a fundraiser for the apiary which we were going to launch this in March before COVID hit,” she said.

“The Hive Mind Community Apiary is specifically built around the notion of bee keeping and horticulture as a therapeutic intervention for people who are impacted by mental illness.”

“We founded the project last year and it’s been growing since, we’ve had some really great support from the community.”

As registered and experienced bee keepers, Ms Collins and Mr Denno are excited to put their knowledge into practice to help others in the region learn how to keep their bees.

“We run about 80 beehives both in people’s suburban backyards in Ballarat and a selection of migratory hives as well,” Ms Collins said.

“For people who come to the virtual Q and A session on Friday night, there will be an opportunity to enrol in a more specific introduction to beekeeping course beyond the basics.”

To book a spot for the online beekeeping learning session, visit eventbrite.com.au.