The Wild Canary at Brookfield Garden Centre hosted a Native Bee Workshop inviting Sarah Hamilton to talk about native bees and demonstrate a hive colony split.
The Wild Canary is a Bistro set amongst manicured gardens inside the Brookfield Garden Centre. They run boutique workshops usually highlighting different food ingredients and todays workshop was based on one single ingredient, Stingless Bee Honey. The chef, Glen Barratt, is a mad native bee guy and has a stingless bee hive at home and regularly observes them in his garden. Glen talked about native bee honey and how it inspired the days menu, sourcing some of the honey from Hive Haven – a local Sunshine Coast company.
Sarah first talked about how she became interested in native bees when a friend placed a hive on her property some ten years ago. After a while she become more involved with native bees and more disgruntled with the normal 9 to 5 job and made the leap of faith and started a full time native bee business, educating the public with demonstrations, supplying native bees to various institutions for health and wellbeing benefits and also hive sales. Sarah has been running her small business for five years now and still enjoys what she does and this shows in the enthusiasm in her presentations such as this one.
The workshop was a sold out event with plenty of enthusiastic people showing great interest. Sarah shared a vast amount of information about native bees and hive designs (too much info to list here – You’ll have to go to a workshop! 🙂
After the information session Sarah went on to split a colony, passing the open hive around the crowd so everyone could get a close up look inside the hive.
Comments were made about how relaxed Sarah was in the handling of the colonies, she explained how calm the bees were with this split and has seen much worse as the little native bees may not sting but they can bite and drive you nuts. If the bees are calm you can take your time and observe the colony for a while but if the bees become upset and start swarming you it’s best to get the split done quickly.
Glen took any chance he could to get up close and get some photos, I think you can see the amazement on his face. Sarah demonstrated transferring a few layers of brood across to one box to even out the amount of brood in each box.
Below: this is a display box with a clear top so you can see the bees at work inside.
After the demonstration everyone was seated for a delicious three course meal inspired by stingless bee honey. Glen was happy to chat and talked about where the Bistro gets their ingredients from, preferring to even pay a higher price for a better quality product and also making extra effort to make sure the money gets to the farmer.
Plenty of Water Dragons can be found around the gardens, even walking under your feet while sitting at the cafe.
The Kitchen Garden just in front of Wild Canary supplies a lot of produce to the Bistro. Glen works with the gardeners planning what to grow.
Below: Native Bee Hive, greets you as you walk in
Wild Canary Bistro https://wildcanary.com.au
Brookfield Garden Centre http://www.brookfieldgardencentre.com.au
Sarah Hamilton http://www.beeyourself.com.au