“a local solution to a serious global problem”

About the workshop

There has never been a more urgent time to do backyard beekeeping. Honeybees are in peril across the planet and we all have a responsibility to preserve and maintain the species and ensure natural, efficient pollination of plant species and our food sources.

Backyard beekeeping is the simplest, most effective and responsible way to solve the global problems of the vanishing honey bee and decline in natural systems and to ensure the maintenance of natural pollination, local food security and global bio-diversity.

This workshop will help you understand the value of the honey bee, the holistic, integral role they play in eco-systems and the importance of backyard beekeeping for your own health, the health of your community and the health of the planet. Learn about:

  • the key issues and management techniques
  • bee hive design options and how to make them
  • how to integrate your bees into your backyard, farm and permaculture system
  • how to pursue this important activity in the best possible, most responsible way for you the beekeeper, the bees and your community
  • maximizing productivity and extraction
  • responsible urban management for beekeeping.

Whether you are an urban garden or broadacre farmer, a practicing beekeeper or a total beginner, you will definitely benefit from this workshop.  The workshop includes both theory and hands on practical sessions on all types of beekeeping tips and techniques.  Participants will get hands on experience opening and handling a hive. You will see first hand different bee hive options and design systems and learn about the key differences of each.

This will be a fun packed hands-on weekend with bee experts learning all about how to manage bees in the simpliest, most efficient, safest and productive way. You will get the information, skills and confidence to deal with all the important basics and key things to look out for and do if and when needed.  You will be able to go home and start beekeeping successfully or improve your beekeeping techniques you currently employ.  This is a rare workshop opportunity not to miss.  Take another step closer towards become a more responsible producer rather than a dependent consumer. Become more self-reliant and in control of your food locally by producing your own backyard honey and ensuring a secure source of honey locally.

Some beekeeping resources will be available for purchase.

About the Trainers

Doug Somerville PhD

Doug is one of the few beekeeping advisors and researchers in Australia, with over 300 publications in various scientific journals, beekeeping magazines and industry newsletters. He is well known across Australia for his knowledge on beekeeping. He obtained a PhD in the field of resource management and environmental science with the thesis title of “The floral resources of New South Wales of Primary Importance to Commercial Beekeeping”.

Dr Doug has been the principal researcher in a range of projects and industry study trips with many of his reports published on the federal government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation web site www.rirdc.gov.au . He has a strong interest in floral resources, honey bee nutrition and pollination, and has a keen interest in many other areas of beekeeping.

Much of Doug’s success can be attributed to his ability to work in a team and be able to focus on the best outcomes for the beekeeping industry. Over his career he has traveled extensively and has a good understanding of the international beekeeping scene. He has delivered presentations to 45 Australian and International conferences.

Anthony Andrist BA (CSU, Ohio), CELTA, PDC (Permaculture Institute), Permaculture Internship (Permaculture Research Institute).

Anthony Andrist is the founder of Honeybee Permaculture, creating educational coursework and providing consulting services for Apiculture and Permaculture. He is currently on the managing team for Permaculture Sydney North’s Garden Team and he is bee-keeper for the Permaculture Sydney Institute.

His passion for beekeeping began in 2005, and was managing his own beehives by 2007. He completed the Pest and Diseases of the Honey Bee with the NSW DPI, the Natural Beekeeping course with Tim Malfroy and has been learning from traditional and commercial beekeepers.

In 2009 he visited the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) in Northern New South Wales and completed his Permaculture Design Course with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton. He also completed the PRI internship and gained hands on experience working at the farm. He kept beehives at the Permaculture Research Institute in the Channon, and currently has them at Eden Farms in Lansdowne, and several Permaculture gardens in Sydney.

Anthony has backpacked across Asia, Europe and Africa; he has spent significant time in West Africa as a cultural anthropologist.  He is devoted to supporting and advocating sustainable community programs and water projects in Mauritania and Somalia.

Workshop Program

This workshop will cover practical and theoretical information about responsible backyard beekeeping including the importance of this activity; how to make and maintain your bee hives for maximum productivity and efficiency as well as how to integrate them into your permaculture system. In particular you will learn about:

  • The importance of beekeeping
  • History
  • Bee biology, life cycle and colonies
  • Significant things to look out for
  • Things to worry about & how to deal with them
  • Pests, diseases and methods of control
  • How to manage on a seasonal basis
  • Flora species for bees natives, exotics, weeds
  • Swarms and feral V managed
  • Permaculture and beekeeping
  • Hive systems, and how to build and manage
  • Extraction methods
  • Beekeeping resources

Course details

When: Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February 2013,  9am to 5pm

Where: Bandusia Country Retreat – Sydney’s Premier Permaculture Education Centre

Who: Doug Somerville and Anthony Andrist. two of Sydney’s finest beekeeping enthusiasts and experts.

Costs and inclusions: $295 includes workshop, organic lunches, morning and afternoon teas and all course materials. PSI members 10% discount.

Accommodation: A range of on-site accommodation at “Bandusia” is available for all budgets. Breakfast and Dinner are included in the accommodation fee.

Bring: Hat, gloves, camera, long sleave shirt, bee veil (if you have one),  water bottle. All other materials will be provided and included in the workshop fee.

Shop: books and resources will be available for sale on site.