The Queen Bee and the Organic Farmer
Together, OUR FOCUS is to:
1. Create honey bee sanctuaries.
2. Increase honey bee populations.
3. Improve crop production through increased pollination on organic and biodynamic farms.
4. Help farmers and urban farmers to increase their plant diversity and grow more bee attracting plants.
5. Encourage the use of organic gardening products and practices to provide healthy bee habitat.
6. Provide training programmes for new and young beekeepers.
"Queen Bee" Paula West (the Apiarist) created the Adopt a Beehive program in 2012 as a response to global concerns regarding the decline of the honey bee populations, and to ensure increased pollination rates for our organic food crops.
Having been a beekeeper for many years, Paula observed that clean farms with bee hives have higher pollination of crops and better seed setting with stronger crop yields.
Paula has established bee sanctuaries on organic and biodynamic farms. These farms are clean, free from contamination of toxic products that kill bees and beneficial insects.
As an Apiarist, Paula talks at events, and conducts workshops on Introductory Beekeeping Maintenance and Honey Harvesting. Paula also consults and assists farmers in the placement of bee hives on their properties and helps hobbyist beekeepers who wish to keep bee hives.
Gary Hands, "The Organic Farmer" farms and manages Kookaburra Organics, a certified organic farm on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, where the first Adopt a Beehive sanctuary was established.
Having come from a family who grew organic produce in their backyard, and as a teenager, whilst helping his aunt and uncle on their commercial market garden every summer, Gary developed a strong belief in growing sustainably. Growing food this way, we nurture nature and do not harm our natural eco systems. He saw the important role of the European honey bee in the family’s market garden.
Gary provides consultative advice to farmers wishing to establish organic practices on their land. He presents workshops to teach people how to grow organic food (the stress free way) in their backyards. He is a presenter in the Giant Kitchen Garden at the QLD Garden Expo each year (5, 6 and 7 July, 2013 - Nambour) and will have his full range of survival plants and seed stock at the Kookaburra Organics site on the arena.