I have kept bees as a hobbyist initially due to difficulty in finding local raw honey to help with bad hayfever - having the honey from your own backyard truly incorporates the local floral sources!
Recently I moved back to my family town when an opportunity arose to purchase a 2 bedroom cottage on a 1/4 acre block in the centre of town right next to family with plans of turning our backyards into a small market garden and the front yards a small espaliered dwarf fruit orchard all to be organically grown.
Word got around town that I kept bees onsite after sharing honey with the neighbours and received the odd word of mouth request to help removing swarms, bees from fallen trees or to extract them from old sheds or from the walls of houses! It got to the point that when I received a call I was often asked "are you the Bunyip beekeeper?" which I then decided to make it official and registered the name!
Often I would receive requests to place one or two hives on private property to help with their garden pollination however with unpredictable honey yields, fuel prices and time restraints, it was not feasible to solely rely on the potential honey harvests.
After turning down multiple requests I happened to mention off-hand to a client that I wouldn't be able to do it without charging them to cover my time and costs, when asked in response "how much would that be" it got me thinking if this was even possible.
After some research and ensuring that my insurance policies would cover me (after negotiations) I came back to my potential client with a quote which was immediately accepted to my surprise! Now I'm working to expand the number of colonies I manage with the eventual goal for beekeeping to be my full time career - and I'm loving every second of it!
The services I now provide are:
Live bee nest removals,
Abandoned/unwanted hives recovery,
Hive maintenance packages (onsite health inspections/pest treatments & honey extraction),
Hive leasing service of up to 5 hives per site (annual lease agreement) - perfect for those who are considering getting a beehive and wants to trail a hive or for backyard gardeners through to small hobby farmers,
Onsite training during hive maintenance and hive lease inspections.
Products I provide:
Raw extracted honey
Raw comb honey
Handmade cosmetics: soaps, lip balms, creams etc (produced from my beeswax/honey/propolis by a local soap maker)
Bee hive kits (assembled or unassembled)
Queen bees and 5 frame nucleus colonies, I am the agent for Kangaroo Island Ligurian Queen bees
Assembled timber frames, wires with wax foundation.
If you're looking at getting into beekeeping and wish to learn in a hands on approach, contact me about leasing a beehive including onsite training - at the end of the lease you have the option of either cancelling, continuing the lease or even purchase the hive and the bees and continuing on your own.
The Bunyip Beekeeper's One-on-One Mentoring Service
Onsite service only - fees apply for the below maintenance packages:
Ad-hoc callout (as needed)
Basic: 3x inspections per year to check health of brood for disease, treat for pests and to reduce chance for swarming (split/requening). Provide advice to the beekeeper on feeding, adding supers, preparing for winter etc. Inspections are scheduled in advance for: 1 in early spring, 1 middle of summer and 1 towards the end of autumn to ensure the hive is packed down for winter. Records are kept of the inspections to comply with the upcoming Biosecurity Code of Practice.
Full Service: up to 10 inspections per year, including the basic package. Full management of your honey flow, adding supers when required, extracting and packing your honey in a commercial kitchen for you. This service also includes my 'Bee Insurance' which will replace your colony of bees in the event that they abscond or not survive the winter. Fees are subject to your location and accessibility. You're encouraged to participate in these inspections to learn as we work on your property!