Learn how to keep your very own bees

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - So­phie Moore

BEEKEEPER Bart Cole wants Bel­mont res­i­dents to love their bees as he does.

The City of Bel­mont has in­vited Mr Cole to share his pas­sion for bee­keep­ing and how to set up a hive at a free sem­i­nar at Ruth Faulkner Li­brary on March 20.

Mr Cole’s fas­ci­na­tion ig­nited 35 years ago at a bee­keep­ing night class.

His chance to build hives of his own came two years ago, af­ter he helped a friend cap­ture a wild swarm from a sub­ur­ban back­yard.

Ten hives later, Mr Cole has bees across Perth, in­clud­ing at his Winthrop home and a Lesmurdie farm.

His favourite honey comes from sub­ur­ban hives.

“In the sub­urbs there are Euro­pean flow­ers and lots of dif­fer­ent plants. Peo­ple tend to be house-proud, so their gar­dens have lots of colour.”

He said the honey was sweeter, lighter-coloured and less vis­cous than bush or farm va­ri­eties, where bees fed on na­tive plants like eu­ca­lyp­tus of the pop­u­lar jar­rah va­ri­ety.

Mr Cole said pes­ti­cides were a prob­lem for bees on farms. “Peo­ple don’t re­alise we need bees to pol­li­nate our crops,” he said.

“With­out bees you don’t have crops like rice or corn – we won’t have any food.”

Bee pop­u­la­tions have de­clined in Europe and Amer­ica, though not in WA, which re­mains dis­ease-free.

Mr Cole warned his hobby was not for the faint-hearted.

“Peo­ple are hor­ri­fied when I tell them how many times I’ve been stung.

“Not the first few stings, or few hun­dred stings, but af­ter a while it’s like there’s some chem­i­cal in your body that coun­ter­acts the pain,” he said.

De­tails about Bart the Beekeeper’s free pre­sen­ta­tion at www.bel­mont.wa.gov.au/

One of Bart Cole’s bee­hives at his home in Winthrop.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.