Photo © Craig Mackintosh
What: Introduction to Apiculture Course (Beekeeping)
Where: At the PRI Zaytuna Farm, NSW, Australia
When: 4, 5 & 6 September 2013
Items covered in the Introduction to Apiculture Course are apiculture and safety, introduction to a beehive, site selection, assembly of hive equipment, owning and managing bee hives, catching a swarm, dividing a hive and requeening a hive, harvesting honey, extracting honey, wax recovery and various apiary products, flora for bee food, covering the concept of honey plants and pollen plants.
About the Teacher
My name is Peter Stace and I have been an apiarist since I was a small boy. When I was about 10 years old a swarm of bees flew into our front yard and settled on a rose bush. A neighbour apiarist came with a bee box and showed me how to catch the swarm. He then gave me the box and bees and told me I was now a beekeeper.
Subsequently, I have always wondered "did I catch that swarm of bees or did the bees catch me?", as bees and apiculture have been a part of my life ever since.
I graduated from Hawkesbury Agricultural College in 1966 and worked in Papua New Guinea for eight years.
In 1978 I began working with the NSW Department of Agriculture, and took on the role of Apiary Advisory Officer for Northern NSW in1982. At the same time I kept a small apiary to maintain my hands-on skills.
My role as Advisory Officer included advisory work in the area of bee diseases, bee nutrition, and crop pollination, as well as running bee schools and field days. I also undertook research into bee nutrition and pollen quality analysis, and produced numerous publications.
I left the NSW Department in 1996 and worked as Apiary Consultant for the South Australian Department of Primary Industry for 2 years.
In 1999 we purchased a small farm north of Lismore. The income stream from the farm includes honey sales from my beehives, as well as paid crop pollination and consultation.
As you can see, my beekeeping experience is both academic and practical, and my enjoyment with working with bees is ongoing.