How do you find an ethical beekeeper?
Not all beekeepers are created equal, so how do you spot a good one? Here are some questions to ask at the beginning:
What is the payment method?
What sort of pest control do they do? Do they also do wasp control? (this is good for your property too).
Do they use methods that are mindful of the bees’ welfare? Things to look out for are the use of blowers on bees (which kills them), and if they work at maximum speed, which also tends to squash bees unnecessarily.
What sort of communication can you expect? You want someone who lets you know well in advance of turning up to your place, fills you in on what is going on, and who is friendly and considerate.
What is their policy on looking after your farm? You would expect them to have this enshrined in their service standards, eg that your gates will be shut, your paddocks looked after, rubbish taken away, that type of thing.
What is your host farm agreement? You NEED one of these – a hand shake won’t cut it. And it needs to be fair to you, as well as them – read it carefully.