Buzzing with the beekeepers of Salt Rock

I am always up for experiencing something new so when an opportunity presented itself to attend a beekeeping course run by veteran beekeeper Trevor Thompson of Foxhill, I jumped straight into apiculture.

Whether you are looking to start your own backyard hive or just have a fascination with bees and want to learn more, then this two-day course is for you.

A first of its kind in the region and hosted at Trevor’s farm, a hidden historical gem in the heart of Salt Rock, you will be introduced to the world of beekeeping in a fun, hands-on class.

Beekeeping is a great lens through which we look at how we interact with our environment.

By the end of the course, you will understand basic aspects of bee biology, husbandry and the equipment necessary for beekeeping.

Trevor also covers the complexities of bee society and behaviour, how best to set up hives in gardens or allotments, urban beekeeping and colony management.

Beekeeping is a great lens through which we look at how we interact with our environment, given that bees pollinate around one-third of food crops and 90 percent of wild plants, which in turn provide food for livestock.

Although bees are not yet on the verge of becoming extinct, their speedy decline is alarming for biodiversity, the food chain and ultimately, our ability to feed ourselves.

Without them, farmers will have trouble producing staple foods like almonds, fruits, and vegetables so it seems logical to assume that our own efforts to help the bee thrive can indirectly benefit all of nature.

The complexities of bee society and behaviour is covered during the beekeeping course.

Day two saw everyone suited up for the field trip to Trevor’s apiary.

For those of you who, like me, know virtually nothing about beekeeping but are just curious about this community practice, the experience was a sheer delight.

An avid beekeeper with almost two decades of experience, Trevor maintains over 400 hives and says he does it because it is a passion.

“There is something about bees that is almost supernatural. You know there is a God when you observe how these creatures work and what they can do,” Trevor said.

“When a person becomes a beekeeper it engages them with their environment and their food system. They start to pay attention to weather patterns, bloom times, other pollinators, pesticides, where their food came from, soil health and on and on. This ultimately leads to more sustainable living choices. The best part is, this awareness about your environment is contagious. You an spread it to your friends and neighbours,” he said.

For those who are keen on amateur beekeeping, the course will arm you with the basics of what is involved in getting started. Let it also be known that I will never complain about the price of honey again!

For more details on the next course or to purchase honey direct contact Trevor at 082 770 8376 or email info@seaforth.co.za.

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