129 episodes

For any of you that know me, I love a good yarn. One the of the best things about my job is getting out and about with local people, sharing the knowledge I have about bees, the environment, produce, gardening and healthy living.

And I have lots of experience getting on my soapbox! For years now, I have been a representative at local and international conferences. I have appeared on popular TV and radio programs (including The Project, ABC radio, Network Ten News, and Channel Nine’s reality show, Dream Job). I have launched educational programs and am excited to launch my new podcast!

Bees With Ben Ben

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.9 • 72 Ratings

For any of you that know me, I love a good yarn. One the of the best things about my job is getting out and about with local people, sharing the knowledge I have about bees, the environment, produce, gardening and healthy living.

And I have lots of experience getting on my soapbox! For years now, I have been a representative at local and international conferences. I have appeared on popular TV and radio programs (including The Project, ABC radio, Network Ten News, and Channel Nine’s reality show, Dream Job). I have launched educational programs and am excited to launch my new podcast!

    Episode 122: Kevin Simons from Edgecomb Honey, Whakatane, New Zealand

    Episode 122: Kevin Simons from Edgecomb Honey, Whakatane, New Zealand

    In Episode 122 of the Bees with Ben podcast, host Ben chats with the experienced commercial beekeeper Kevin Simons from Edgecomb Honey, nestled in the scenic North Island Bay of Plenty in Whakatane, New Zealand. Kevin has been a part of the beekeeping industry since 1984, witnessing firsthand the dramatic shifts in the landscape of apiculture, particularly with the advent of varroa mites. This episode delves into his enduring passion for beekeeping, the early days free from varroa, and his current relentless fight against this devastating pest.

    Kevin's journey into the world of bees began in 1984, sparked by a fascination with the natural world and the intricate society bees form within their hives. He recalls the simpler times in beekeeping when the absence of varroa mites meant fewer threats to hive health and a stronger focus on honey production and natural hive growth. These were the days when beekeepers could rely more on the resilience of their bees and less on intervention to maintain healthy colonies. However, the tranquility of beekeeping shifted dramatically with the arrival of varroa mites in New Zealand. Kevin describes the initial shock and rapid adaptation needed as beekeepers nationwide faced significant losses and battled to understand and manage this new enemy. For Kevin, it was a pivot from natural beekeeping methods to developing a more aggressive and vigilant approach to hive management.

    Today, with over a thousand hives under his care, Kevin's beekeeping routine involves an extensive and meticulously planned program to combat the varroa mite. He shares some of his strategies on the podcast, including regular monitoring, the use of chemical treatments, and natural control techniques that together form an integrated pest management system. His goal is not just to keep the mites at bay but to ensure his bees thrive despite their presence.

    Looking toward the future, Kevin is cautiously optimistic. He acknowledges the ongoing challenges posed by varroa mites but also highlights the resilience of beekeepers and the innovations in the field that continue to evolve. His story is a testament to the dedication and resilience required in modern beekeeping, emphasizing that the battle against pests like varroa is ongoing but not insurmountable.

    • 47 min
    Episode 121: Revolutionizing Bee Hive Lifting: A Conversation with Jai Stafford of Ezy Loaders

    Episode 121: Revolutionizing Bee Hive Lifting: A Conversation with Jai Stafford of Ezy Loaders

    Revolutionizing Bee Hive Lifting: A Conversation with Jai Stafford of Ezy Loaders 

     

    In this episode, we explore the innovative world of Ezy Loaders with none other than Jai Stafford, the driving force behind these game-changing material handling devices. Join us as we delve into how Ezy Loaders are making loading processes easier, safer, and more efficient across various industries but mostly the lifting of bee hives. 

     

    https://ezyloader.com

     

    The Genesis of Ezy Loaders: Jai shares the inspiration and the initial challenges in the development of Ezy Loaders. The discussion on the technology and design principles that make Ezy Loaders stand out. How Ezy Loaders are transforming material handling in sectors like agriculture, construction, and logistics. Real-life examples and testimonials from businesses that have benefited from adopting this technology.  Looking at the safety features integrated into Ezy Loaders and how they contribute to workplace safety.  The efficiency gains realized by companies using Ezy Loaders, supported by data and case studies. Jai discusses upcoming innovations and potential new markets for Ezy Loaders with a new product that is just about to be launched!

    • 26 min
    Episode 120: Steve Sammut, Steve's Queens, Western Australia

    Episode 120: Steve Sammut, Steve's Queens, Western Australia

    Welcome to another buzzing episode of the "Bees With Ben" podcast! In this instalment, Ben chats with Steve, an avid beekeeper from Western Australia whose journey into the world of bees began through a unique blend of friendship and curiosity.

    Discover how Steve was introduced to beekeeping when his regular fishing buddy had too many beehives to manage, leading to less time for their fishing adventures. Hear Steve's initial impressions when he first inspected the bee colonies and how this experience sparked his interest in beekeeping. Learn about the creative ways Steve involved his two young sons, aged 8 and 6, in beekeeping. From painting an internal wall with whiteboard paint for brainstorming to conducting market and product research, find out how Steve made beekeeping a fun and educational family project. "Levi & Elek’s" Honey Label: Steve shares the story behind purchasing 20 x 5 frame nucs from a breeder who would later become a good friend and mentor.

    Explore the steps taken to establish their own honey brand, “Levi & Elek’s,” and what it means to them.



    Rottnest Island Bees: The episode also delves into the fascinating world of Rottnest Island bees. Steve discusses the unique characteristics and challenges of beekeeping in this location. Join Ben and Steve as they explore the personal and profound impacts of beekeeping, from fostering family bonds to embarking on new business ventures. Whether you're a seasoned beekeeper or just curious about starting, this episode is packed with insights and inspiring stories that highlight the joys and challenges of beekeeping.

    https://www.stevesqueens.com.au/



    https://www.facebook.com/steves.queensaus

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 119: A Conversation on Mental Health with Rae Bonney. Melbourne.

    Episode 119: A Conversation on Mental Health with Rae Bonney. Melbourne.

    With more than 10 years’ experience, developing, designing and delivering workplace mental health and wellbeing programs, Rae works with a broad range of organisations, industries and settings with a special skill in crisis and suicide response. A qualified counsellor trained in Rogerian theory – Rae draws on her authenticity, genuineness, and empathy to create environments of trust and safety. She has a focus on men and boy’s health, offering confidential in person and online sessions for individuals, couples and groups. For a decade, she’s been a volunteer Ambassador for Beyond Blue and also donates her time to community organisations and settings where the smallest acts of kindness and care can be lifechanging. She’s well known for her enthusiastic advocacy in the men’s health space, where she believes that a male friendly approach to support and resources could have a positive impact for everyone. The first female board member of the Australian Men’s Health Forum, she compliments this with a recent election to the board of Global Action on Men’s Health. You can also tune into Rae’s radio show on 94.1FM 3WBC, “What does it feel like, being you today”, where she interviews people from all over the world, asking that question.Rae Bonney's website at (https://www.raebonney.au), and join us in this ongoing conversation to bring about change and hope.



    https://au.linkedin.com/in/raebonney

    • 53 min
    Episode 118, The Mystery of Toxic Honeys with Dr. Andrew Knill, Australia

    Episode 118, The Mystery of Toxic Honeys with Dr. Andrew Knill, Australia

    The Mystery of Toxic Honeys with Dr. Andrew Knill"**

    Welcome to another buzzing episode of "Bees with Ben," a podcast where we delve into the fascinating world of bees and their impact on our ecosystem. This week, we're joined by renowned scientist Dr. Andrew Knill, who brings his expertise to a rather intriguing topic: toxic honeys and the effects of Patterson's Curse nectar in honey.



    **A Deep Dive into Toxic Honeys:**



    Dr. Knill starts by exploring the broader concept of toxic honeys, a phenomenon that has intrigued scientists and beekeepers alike. He explains how certain plants, when foraged by bees, can lead to the production of honey with unusual properties. These honeys, while rare, can range from being mildly psychoactive to potentially harmful.

    Patterson's Curse – A Blessing or a Curse?



    Our focus then shifts to Patterson's Curse, a plant known for its vibrant beauty and its controversial role in honey production. Dr. Knill discusses the dual nature of this plant - how it's both a bane for farmers and a boon for beekeepers in certain regions. He delves into the chemistry of Patterson's Curse nectar and how it influences the honey produced.

    Dr. Knill shares insights from his recent research on how bees interact with Patterson's Curse and how they are affected by its nectar. The conversation takes an intriguing turn as we discuss the effects of this honey on human health. Dr. Knill breaks down the myths and realities, providing a balanced view on the potential risks and benefits.

    Don't forget to subscribe for more insightful episodes of "Bees with Ben." We'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode, so feel free to leave a comment or reach out on our social media platforms. Stay tuned for our next episode, where we'll explore another fascinating aspect of beekeeping and the wonders of the bee world.

    • 36 min
    Episode 117, Brent Nixon, Nixon Queen Bees, Victoria

    Episode 117, Brent Nixon, Nixon Queen Bees, Victoria

    This week’s episode of the Bees with Ben podcast features a question-and-answer session between Ben and his special studio guest, Brent Nixon, who has driven down from Ballarat South for the occasion.

    Naturally, Ben’s first question for Brent is how he started out with bees? Brent explains that he grew up in a family of cattle breeders and wanted to breed something for himself. He studied genetics at university, including the pioneering work of Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics. Many people don’t realize that Mendel, who was a monk, also conducted research with bees, which were often kept at monasteries to produce beeswax candles, in addition to honey. Mendel was attempting to breed bees using a cage, which wasn’t really effective, but his early work was taken up by Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey in the UK - the creator of the ‘Buckfast bee’. Brent became fascinated with breeding bees, but although he had the theoretical knowledge, he had never been inside a hive.

    Then about 8 years ago, his wife’s uncle, who was a beekeeper, found him a swarm - located about 10 metres up a tree. Brent was given a half suit and positioned under the swarm, with instructions to catch the bees in a box, while the uncle clambered up the tree to dislodge the insects. Somehow, Brent managed to catch the queen, and the beekeeper told him to put the box down, and that the rest of the swarm would soon follow, which they did.

    Today, Brent has his own podcast called ‘Breeding the Honey Bee’, which is named after the famous book written by Brother Adam. He has recorded 11 episodes to date, including an interview with the head beekeeper at Buckfast Abbey.

    Ben is quizzed about the development of his business and the transition from part-time to his main source of income. He says he started off slowly and built his business on diversification; he vividly remembers making beeswax candles in his kitchen and struggling to clean the wax off the lino floor (Brent interjects that he thinks he ruined the plumbing in his first house as some beeswax went down the sink). Ben goes on to say that one of the main problems is that the business is so seasonal, and that he struggled to get through the winter in the early years. He cautions that he has seen beekeeping businesses go too hard and too quick, and ultimately fall over.

    https://nixonqueenbees.com.au/?fbclid=IwAR3LekNglAfD_R-psKhjH102qzkBorcgBHJqcJ6D8e5NAqiyKgroh9sFL1k



    https://nixonqueenbees.com.au/pages/podcast?fbclid=IwAR0vDUhGW0Axip2VCqp4TEi7tK6rQa06rWOAC-XQINwri6qXuSUUdeXn3G8



    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1150361712418055

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
72 Ratings

72 Ratings

:)rob ,

Best podcast I’ve ever listened to regarding bees

I’m having withdrawal symptoms as I’ve listened to everyone. Everyone show no matter who, where or what the show was covering I picked up at least one tip/idea.

DA on bees ,

Bees with Ben

Bees with Ben is the best bee podcast I’ve found anywhere. Incredible range of guest from around the world and really interesting topics covered in each interview. Added to this, Ben’s incredible enthusiasm shines through every episode. All around, a great podcast for anyone interested in bees.

PJ of Sydney ,

Fantastic Show

This is a fantastic show and Ben clearly puts a lot of effort into each episode. It’s great to hear from notable local beekeepers, who are often very willing to pass on their knowledge to those walking in their footsteps. Well done Ben, keep up the great work

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