HIVE OF ACTIVITY: Paula West and and her apprentice Louise Hunt.
HIVE OF ACTIVITY: Paula West and and her apprentice Louise Hunt. Jorgia White

The chance to learn art of beekeeping

THE art of beekeeping is something Paula West passionately believes in.

She and husband Gary are the proud owners of Adopt A Beehive, where they teach the wider community about the significant role bees play.

The kicked off their business in 2012 after spending a lot of time visiting events to sell their Kookaburra Organics products, which is their other business.

"We were running workshops and visiting events and each year people would come over to our Kookaburra Organics exhibit," she said.

"They would say things like they don't have any lemons in their garden this year.

"The first question we would ask is, how many bees do you see in your garden?

"Many would say that they have never seen bees in their garden.

"If you don't have bees coming to your garden every day there's no pollination going on."

Paula said worldwide the global bee population is in serious decline.

"With an increasing number of beehives collapsing and many bee species becoming extinct or threatened," she said.

"If this disturbing trend continues, it could lead to a global food crisis due to the vital pollination role that bees play."

Paula said this is what brought Adopt A Beehive to life and they are on a mission to pollinate Australia.

"We decided we needed to do something about it," she said.

"People can now sponsor a beehive that we look after and we send eight kilos of honey to them every year."

Paula said while they started small, putting beehives in locations across the Sunshine Coast, they hope to grow enough to go national.

"As we expand we'd like to see this as an Australian initiative," she said.

As well as the Adopt A Beehive project, Paula also runs Introduction to Beekeeping workshops, teaching people the art.

"We teach people about how to become artisan beekeepers," she said.

"It's about teaching people to do things with respect for the bees.

"We do everything by hand and, yes, it's more labour intensive but thequality of honey is far better.

"We want a chance to contribute to something we passionately believe in and saving honey bees is a very big task."

Paula and Gary also run courses on organic food growing, pasta making, cheese making, worm farming and many other courses to teach people about living a natural, wholesome life.

For more information about Adopt A Beehive, visit adoptabeehiveaustralia/.

To sign up for the next Introduction to Beekeeping workshop, visit workshops-events.

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