IT TAKES a special kind of skill to be a beekeeper.
And according to Aris Wolswinkel of Bees Business in Loch, the earlier you get stung by one of these industrious little creatures the better, if you plan a career in the business.
“Of course it’s no good getting stung if you’re allergic to bees but if you do get stung at a younger age, it does tend to help build up your immunity,” said Aris.
“But it’s not something you really worry about.”
Aris has been in the business of honey and pollination for a long time and where farmers and foresters are concerned, the work that the bees do for productivity is essential.
“We tend to have the bees up in the north of the state for the red gum and yellow box flavours.
“There’s also the canola earlier on and the clover when it’s flowering.
“They’re up in Shepparton now. There’s really not enough for them here.”
Aris prides himself on the distinctive flavours coming from his hives and he still does it all the traditional way.
“I’ve seen the ‘flow hives’ in action but they’re terribly expensive and not as easy as they look to manage.”
Part of the business is being ready to act when the bees are swarming, when a young queen breaks away from the home hive, but Aris will often pre-empt that when he sees a new queen active in a hive.
The end result is a number of varieties of the best honey you’re likely to taste and available readily at local markets.