Keeping busy as a bee
We catch Ben as he finishes his grocery shopping and one thing we are certain is not on his list, is honey.
Ben has been running his beekeeping business, Ben’s Bees since 2016 and the demand for honey has risen during the uncertain times of COVID-19.
“Honey is a natural medicine and sales have doubled as people are trying to help sooth any signs of a cold and sore throats,” Ben said.
Ben promotes buying local and stocks his honey in butcher shops and cafes along with a ‘honey house’ complete with honesty box set up outside his home to help sell more jars of gold.
The bright yellow rides he uses for his business are easily spotted on the road and are now complete with matching yellow and black custom plates – BKEEPA and BKEEPR.
“The plates really complement both my branded van and ute and it helps identify my business to others on the road,” Ben said.
After reading a book on beekeeping when he was young, Ben’s fascination grew for these pollinating flying insects and he’s never turned back.
Buying his first bee hive at 14 years old for $60 seems like a bargain as hives can now go up to $550 each.
Being stung by bees is part of a normal day for Ben and so is saving families from swarms.
“I had one family hiding in their garage with their dog when I got the call to remove around 10,000 bees flying around their garden trying to find a new home,” he recalls.
Ben simply shook the tree branch the swarm was on into a box and carefully removed it, leaving the family safe and sound.
Sometimes removing bees doesn’t always go to plan and luckily Ben is quick on his feet to find a solution.
“A swarm of bees I had removed from one property escaped while I was driving down the freeway and my van turned into a bit of a beehive as I had thousands of bees flying around my head as I drove,” Ben said.
Navigating his way back home safety with his new passengers, Ben ensured all the bees were put back into the box when he returned home.
“If anything, it was really embarrassing when I had others looking into my car with all these bees flying around,” he said.
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