Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Native Beekeeping and Beehive Making Workshop

March 25, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 9:00 am, repeating indefinitely

Australian native bee Amagilla on a cinnamon basil flower

Native Beekeeping is fun, productive and environmentally responsible. And there has never been a more important time to help the bees!

About the workshop

Native bees harmoniously co-exist with naturalized honeybees in most Australian backyards. Whilst all bees share the same functions of pollination and the production of honey and by- products, native bees are often overlooked and less known about. This workshop helps you gain a greater understanding about native bees. It examines the identification of different species; their characteristics and behaviour; habitat requirements; their specific functions and benefits; and the importance of keeping bees for their role in the greater environment.

We all have a responsibility to preserve and maintain native bee populations and ensure natural, efficient pollination of plant species and our food sources. Native beekeeping is simple once you know the main things to consider and a few techniques.

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 native bees, the holistic, integral role they play in eco-systems and the importance of keeping them in your backyard for your own health, the health of your community and the health of the planet. Specifically you will learn about:

  • Species identification
  • Native bee behaviour, characteristics,
  • 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 bee food: “weeds”, native and exotic flora
  • Beekeeping resources
  • Needs of the honey bee
  • Functions and products of native bees
  • Maximising productivity and extraction
  • The harmonious integration, co-existence and eco-synthesis of both our native bees and honeybees in the backyard.
  • 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
  • Native bee habitat and different design options
  • Designing your own native bee hive to take home
  • Building your own native beehive to take home

Whether you are an urban garden or broad-acre 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 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 native bees in the simplest, most efficient 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 native beekeeping successfully or improve the beekeeping techniques you currently employ. You will take home your own hive ready to go. 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.

Sunday 22nd October follows the Backyard beekeeping course of the honeybee. Both workshops together are highly desirable and recommended for a complete holistic view of responsible backyard bee-keeping. To see more info on this workshop see: https://permaculturesydneyinstitute.org/event/introduction-to-beekeeping/

About the Trainers

Sherri McMahon and Ingrid Cullen
Sherri and Ingrid Photo
Sherri and Ingrid are farmers in the historic valley of St Albans. They manage their own farm business “She-Ing Farm” from which they make a livelihood and sustain themselves financially. Since purchasing their rural property in 1997, Sherri and Ingrid have subsequently regenerated the land from scratch turning it from a sandy, degenerated unproductive site to a highly productive, diverse, and sustainable property. Sherri and Ingrid built their own house, and have self developed their property into an excellent demonstration site for a productive working farm. They grow their own produce; sell produce; farm and slaughter their own livestock (including cattle, sheep and poultry); log and mill their own timber; and farm in a humane and sustainable way. They also have a successful farm maintenance business. “The Girls” as they are known in the valley are highly   of other community activities. They are both extremely capable and highly skilled rural women who have extensive and in depth knowledge of all aspects of rural property management and who provide excellent leadership examples of sustainable, self-reliant and resilient living. The girls are passionate to extend and improve their property using a range of principles and techniques drawn from permaculture, organic and sustainable farming practices.   They are also passionate to share the knowledge they have gained to help others find and develop sustainable farm practices.

Sherri McMahon
Sherri provides a no nonsense insight into the workings of a rural property and will help all participants understand what they need to know to run a successful rural property in a sustainable way. Sherri has a certificate 2 and 3 in Agriculture from the Hunter Institute as well a several other awards and agricultural training certificates. Sherri grew up on her family’s traditional 1500 acre mixed production farm, running 200 sheep, cattle and crops in the Snowy Mountains area and was very much part of the farm team.    She left the family farm to undertake a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Canberra University, and after graduation joined the Federal Police as a photographer, rising to become a senior investigator.  She then travelled extensively through her work, including heading the Vulnerable Persons Unit in the UN peace-keeping mission in East Timor in 2001. She was an Australian champion in athletics and power lifting.

Ingrid Cullen
Ingrid has organic gardening genes in her DNA. She comes from a family of organic gardeners and farmers from Lorne in Northern NSW and her enormous repertoire of rural skills and knowledge are largely a product of her upbringing on the family’s diverse 100 acre farm. Ingrid went on to a Visual Arts Degree at Sydney College of the Arts and has a Certificate 2 and 3 in Agriculture as well as accreditation in the area of fitness, wellness, and massage. She too was a serial competitor and Australian champion in power lifting and rowing.  For many years Ingrid worked as a personal fitness and wellness trainer in community gyms and not for profit organizations. She specialised in working with people with HIV-AIDS and was awarded the World AIDS Day award for her work.


Books and resources will be available for sale on site.


March 25, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
, , ,


Bandusia Country Retreat
1056 Upper Macdonald Rd
Upper MacDonald (St Albans), NSW Australia
+ Google Map
(02) 4568 2036


Sherri MacMahon and Ingrid Cullen. Two of Sydney’s finest women beekeeping instructors.
Hat, gloves, camera, sturdy shoes, long sleeve shirt, water bottle
workshop, organic lunches, morning and afternoon teas and all course materials