Two women wearing protective clothing inspect a bee hive.

Apiarist Belinda Foley and K2W Link project coordinator Mary Bonet inspect the hive.

On Saturday, January 21, K2W Link hosted a workshop, Bees, Blooms and Beyond, with Belinda Foley from Beelinda’s BeeHive for people to learn about beekeeping and the sustainable management of honey bees at Narrawa Hall.

This event is part of a series of Land for Wildlife talks jointly run by K2W Link and supported through the Cores, Corridors and Koalas – a partnership between the Great Eastern Ranges and WWF-Australia to restore and reconnect critical habitat for forest-dependent native animals.

As an amateur beekeeper, Belinda has achieved remarkable success, winning a swathe of awards at the Sydney Royal Show for her products and honey over the past two years. She shared her extensive knowledge of the production and harvesting of honey, the lifecycle of bees, and how to maintain a safe and healthy hive free of bee pests and diseases. She also discusses the value of honeybees to the pollination of native plants and many agriculture and horticulture industries.

“As the popularity of recreational beekeeping increases, it is more important than ever for hobby beekeepers also to appreciate our native bees and to learn how to manage a beehive responsibly,” Mary Bonet, project coordinator, K2W Link said.

“As we are all aware, spillovers of pests or diseases may put our native animals and plants at risk, and by keeping a healthy hive, beekeepers can help reduce this risk.”

“Belinda was such an incredible guest speaker and a wonderful example of how women on the land are successfully diversifying their income sources.”

K2W Link partnered with Belinda to assist those thinking of setting up a beehive or have just started beekeeping. Following the workshop, ten guests had an up-close experience with the bees and inspected a hive at Foley Farm.

“Belinda showed a special ability to pass on her practical approach and experience in a natural sharing manner,” Wayne Southwell said.

“It was a motivational class in how to move from little to no knowledge as an amateur, to proceeding to successful beekeeping.

“I’m still chuckling at the persistent bees that followed us away from the hive we inspected. Belinda led the way by calmly removing her bee suit to demonstrate all was well with the inquisitive ‘hanger ons’,” Mr Southwell said.

The workshop was the second in a series of talks held in Goulburn Mulwaree and the Upper Lachlan Shire to promote pollinators and native plants.