10 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

    • Pets & Animals
    • 5.0, 21 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!

    PODCAST EPISODE 9: Warm Greetings and Gratitude from Ben

    PODCAST EPISODE 9: Warm Greetings and Gratitude from Ben

    PODCAST EPISODE 9: Warm Greetings and Gratitude from Ben

    In this episode, I send out my warmest hellos and thank you’s to all the incredible people that make the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast a reality. It’s one thing to have a podcast, but it’s a very different thing for that podcast to be a successful place for the sharing of information and stories; a very different reality and pleasure to make a podcast that builds community in a way that is enriching and pushes past geographical boundaries. As many of you know, a podcast is a project I wanted to pursue for a really long time – for ages, friends, family and colleagues told me, “Ben, you NEED a podcast!”, and I have no doubt this is because I tend to talk…a lot. I love talking, I love sharing. I love people. And I am so thankful for all the listeners who tune in every week to hear me discuss bees with talented and passionate bee-lovers and beekeepers from all over the world. This is especially true in this time of isolation and I feel uplifted to know that I am producing something that might bring a little joy to someone’s day when the times feel tinged with uncertainty. I can see from the number of people listening that that is actually happening! Amazing. Secondly, I want to say an equally big thank you to the incredible and generous contributors to my beekeeping podcast – to the friends, old colleagues and new connections that give up their valuable time to talk to me and the broader Ben’s Bees community about what they do, how they got to where they are today, and how they keep that fire burning. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    On top of much love and thanks, episode 9 features a yarn about what I have been up to in this chilly weather – mainly jarring honey and making hives and frames ready for spring. However, I also just finished an amazing book called ‘Interviews with Beekeepers’ by Steve Donohoe, which I review. It features a wonderful chat with the lovely Richard Noel, who I was lucky enough to meet and hang out with in the north of France a couple of years ago – what a small world it is! This book is a real page turner for any beekeeper and is available online at Book Depository.

    Lastly, I wanted to shout out and ask the Ben’s Bees community and listeners of the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast to help me make this podcast an even greater success. First, please leave a review of my podcast on iTunes – for people working online (which is many of us at the moment), a positive review really helps more people find out about projects such as mine. Second, please follow on Spotify. And third, I love a friendly text message to +61437077792, so go ahead, send me some love! Let’s make the Ben’s Bees community bigger than ever! Big thanks in advance for your reviews, follows and texts. Love Ben x

    https://www.bensbees.com.au

    • 21 min
    PODCAST EPISODE 8: John Edmonds from Edmonds Honey, Geelong, Victoria

    PODCAST EPISODE 8: John Edmonds from Edmonds Honey, Geelong, Victoria

    PODCAST EPISODE 8: John Edmonds from Edmonds Honey, Geelong, Victoria

    John Edmonds is a chatty, enthusiastic, warm-hearted bee bloke and business owner. With a wealth of experience that goes back into his family history, John is noted for saying, "keeping bees is like a jigsaw, get all the little parts of the puzzle together and you will get the finished puzzle.” Owner of Edmonds Honey based in Geelong, John is the only commercial beekeeper I know of in Australia that uses jumbo-sized beehives (similar to the ones used in Europe), and he does mighty well with his set up. For these reasons, I am beyond delighted to welcome John to the BEES WITH BEN podcast for Episode 8!

    John’s business, Edmonds Honey, is a family affair that began with John’s father, Murray. Murray Edmonds began beekeeping after the Second World War, when he received his first hive from his uncle. Having spent his holidays around familial bee lovers who kept their own colonies near Tallangatta, he learnt some of the tricks of the trade. John’s father kept bees at Ruby in Gippsland before moving to Geelong where he then kept hives at the You Yangs, Brisbane Ranges, Bannockburn and Balliang. John followed his father’s lead, accompanying him to the hives, and helping out his dad where he could. As the years progressed, and due to some tough circumstances, Murray and John would spend their evenings making bee boxes and frames for money – the silver lining being John starting to keep his own bees! As time rolled along, John purchased beehives, a honey extracting caravan, and the tools he needed; soon after, in 1982, Murray suggested they partner up, and Edmonds Honey was born!

    As the business grew, Edmonds Honey began selling to markets, supply distributors and stores. The Edmonds started to rear queen bees for sale, finding the best race of bee for the Southern Victoria region to be the Carniolan – as John described, “They proved to be thrifty, docile, still on comb, productive, disease resistant and excellent wintering.” In 2001, Murray retired. Sadly, soon after, John’s dear friend Leon became ill, and John took over his beekeeping equipment sales. Nowadays, Edmonds Honey has around 500 beehives in the Western half of Victoria for honey production, mainly on forest and farm sites. Edmonds Honey, as described by John, is “produced without chemicals and is a as natural as possible and we endeavour to have straight-line varieties.”

    So, tune in to hear John and I chat about John’s journey, his family business, and some incredible anecdotes such as the remarkable ways bees wax was used in the 1940s to lubricate bombs and bullets in World War II! Don’t miss it!

    www.bensbees.com.au

    • 43 min
    PODCAST EPISODE 7: Neil Stuckey from Sticky Stuckey Honey, Gippsland, Victoria

    PODCAST EPISODE 7: Neil Stuckey from Sticky Stuckey Honey, Gippsland, Victoria

    PODCAST EPISODE 7: Neil Stuckey from Sticky Stuckey Honey, Gippsland, Victoria

    I don’t get jealous much, but I am a tad envious of my dear friend Neil. With a name like Neil Stuckey– yes, like Sticky, Stuckey Honey– what’s not to turn a little green over; it’s the kind of last name keepers dream of, and it seems to me that the gods (or his parents at least) must have known that Neil would be a bee lover and a maker of delicious honey when they went about making and naming him. It’s a pleasure, therefore, to introduce you to this great friend and colleague of mine, a man I have known for some eight years now, to the BEES WITH BEN podcast.

    Last week I travelled down to the beautiful Gippsland area of southern Victoria (one of my favourite places in Australia, even on Earth), and recorded this little episode on site, at Neil Stuckey of (you guessed it) Sticky Stuckey Honey’s (perfection!) packing plant at Flynns Creek. Neil is a real inspiration for me. Why? This keeper sells over twelve varieties of honey; selling honey is his main income (which is quite unusual to be honest), and he sells a whopping two tons of honey per week on average. He also has over 100 colonies of his own, which is a love-project, keeping his hives purely because he is passionate about bees. In parallel, Neil pollinates on the side, and his bees do really well when on the canola fields out near his joint! Neil really is a wealth of knowledge and has been a go-to for the local media for some big issues to do with health and honey regulations. Neil’s unapologetic and down-to-earth approach is based on his huge experience, and he sure makes a lot of sense to me!

    On a personal note, anyone that knows Neil well knows that red gum honey is his favourite as it reminds him of his childhood. What a sweety-sticky-Stuckey honey Neil is! And his lovely partner Ann is equally as divine – she makes the most amazing country food, including that time when she made me lobster thermidor when I came to visit! What absolute gems. For these reasons, I am thrilled to welcome Neil Stuckey to the BEES WITH BEN podcast where we talk all things bees, southern Victoria and honey varieties with a true-blue local treasure. Tune in! 

    • 35 min
    PODCAST EPISODE 6: Kirsten Traynor from 2 Million Blossoms

    PODCAST EPISODE 6: Kirsten Traynor from 2 Million Blossoms

    PODCAST EPISODE 6: Kirsten Traynor from 2 Million Blossoms

    I recently declared my love for podcasting. Despite it being an activity that many people told me I would lap up, I had no clue just how good spreading my love of bees, the environment, cooking and healthy living would feel. Having a podcast has meant that I have been able to share some of my dearest bee-related friends with the world, but this week, I am super excited to share the story of an amazing individual who I have not had the benefit of meeting as yet, but am over the moon to welcome to the BEES WITH BEN podcast: Kirsten Traynor from 2 Million Blossoms!

    When I came across 2 Million Blossoms website, I was way more than impressed. Based in the United States, 2 Million Blossoms is a website and quarterly publication which aims “to awaken readers to the vast diversity of pollinating insects and animals. To delight, entertain and name those well-adapted creatures buzzing through our world, because the more we know about pollinators, the better we can provide habitat.” Founded by Kirsten, this quarterly magazine features short and long form articles that explore the myriad of ways that bees, birds, butterflies and bats bring life and healing to our planet. As mentioned, the publication will be available in print for your enjoyment, and 2 Million Blossoms also offers a free e-newsletter on their website.

    Chatting to Kirsten was a real dream. Incredibly articulate and well-versed on everything bee-related, she describes that – despite following her love of words via an English major at university – she realised that bees where her true passion. This led her to complete a PhD in biology, where she studied the impact of pesticides and varroa on bee colony health. Incredible! She also combined her love of bees with her love of writing when she edited for the American Bee Journal and Bee World. Not to mention, she is also the author of Two Million Blossoms: Discovering the Medicinal Benefits of Honey! These days, Kirsten is the editor and founder of 2 Million Blossoms, and a true force in the bee world, and for all of the amazing reasons mentioned, I am delighted to introduce you to her in Episode 6 where we chat about Kirsten’s publishing projects, the healing properties of honey, varroa mites and the effects of chemicals on bees, especially the queen’s ability to lay eggs. Don’t miss this one! Tune in https://anchor.fm/ben-the-beeman https://www.2millionblossoms.com

    • 33 min
    PODCAST EPISODE 5: Milan Wiercx van Rhijn, Bees for Development, France

    PODCAST EPISODE 5: Milan Wiercx van Rhijn, Bees for Development, France

    PODCAST EPISODE 5: Milan Wiercx van Rhijn, Bees for Development, France

    A few years ago, I visited one of my favourite countries in the whole world, France. During my stay, I was lucky enough to be well looked after by my now dear friend, Milan Wiercx van Rhijn, and his lovely partner, Kim. Spoilt with handmade ice-cream (thanks Kim!) and wonderful conversation about how bees are doing the most incredible job to take care of the planet (in more ways than just pollination), my stay with Milan really solidified our friendship and taught me a great deal about the amazing organisation he works for. Since that time in France, we met again at APIMONDIA in Montreal in 2019 and have stayed in regular contact ever since! For that reason, I am delighted to welcome my good friend Milan to the BEES WITH BEN podcast!

    Tune into Episode 5 to hear Milan and I chat about the wonderful work happening right now in the developing world – work that combines a number of incredibly dedicated and compassionate individuals, and, of course, a huge number of equally delightful bees! Bees for Development is an organisation that promotes beekeeping to combat poverty and help build sustainable, resilient livelihoods for the people that need it most. When I thought bees couldn’t do more for the good of humanity, I am happily proven wrong.

    Founded in 1993, Bees for Development was the first organisation to fully understand and acknowledge the reasons why beekeeping can be such a useful tool for relieving poverty while helping to retain biodiversity. Based in Monmouth in the UK, the organisation has worked with over 50 countries across the world to help people generate an essential income to feed their families and provide basic needs: these projects are happening in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda (to name just a few locations). The company shows local farmers how to make and maintain low-cost beehives so that people can harvest and sell their own honey, turning natural and renewable resources into a vital livelihood that (if that wasn’t enough!) helps the environment at the same time! The company also carries out important bee-work for the World Bank, United Nations FAO and IFAD, EU, DFID, USAID and other international organisations.

    Alongside all this remarkable work, Bees for Development has a generous and ethical philosophy to sharing information (one that I find vital and sometimes unusual in this day and age). They provide free information to beekeepers in poor countries, with publications – Bees for Development Journal and Teaching and Learning Boxes-- sent to readers in 130 nations. These documents share knowledge and advice, and the organisation’s website includes an open-access information portal that is the largest of its kind in the world! Considering the incredibly difficult state of affairs right now across the globe, there hasn’t been a better time to support a more worthy organisation.

    • 34 min
    PODCAST EPISODE 4: Manuel Hempel of Vindfløy Bybigård in Bergen, Norway

    PODCAST EPISODE 4: Manuel Hempel of Vindfløy Bybigård in Bergen, Norway

    PODCAST EPISODE 4: Manuel Hempel of Vindfløy Bybigård in Bergen, Norway

    As you will find out, the last time I saw Manuel Hempel was in a karaoke bar In Canada. Obviously, my stellar singing voice made a great impression on the young, 34-year-old beekeeper from Norway, as we have stayed in touch ever since. To be serious, I met this incredibly passionate fellow when we were both at the APIMONDIA beekeeping and honey production conference in Montreal, Canada, and was struck by his story. Passionate about all things bee-related, Manuel is a keeper in a part of the world where the climate and terrain is tough – the city of Bergen on the southwestern coast of Norway. Although Bergen is not as wild as the mountainous areas of Norway, and the sea makes the climate milder and therefore suitable for bees, I am in awe of this young beekeeper, his perspective and story.

    Vindfløy Bybigård is a beekeeping project in downtown Bergen, named after the Vindfloy (wind transducer) on Mt. Floyen where Manuel’s first hives were situated in 2013. Manuel run beehives from backyards to rooftops in different neighbourhoods all around the town of Bergen, seeking to “engage with the public and local institutions to create awareness for the city as an urban ecosystem, promote biodiversity and support local bees and pollinators by contributing to a more insect friendly environment in town”. What a legend! He is also very passionate about education, running workshops and giving presentations on bees at different events. In turn, Manuel and his bees have been involved with amazing groups such as Spire Bergen, ALF (Integration Center), SLowfood Bergen and the Bergen International School.

    I am thrilled to introduce Manuel to the Ben’s Bees Community in Episode 4 of the BEES WITH BEN podcast. Listen in to hear us chat about the honey cooperative called HONNINGCENTRALEN (which translates to Honey Centre) – an awesome initiative where the price of honey is fixed so that all beekeepers can sell their honey for a good price and maintain its high quality. Food for thought until I next meet up with Manuel at the 2021 APIMONDIA in Ufa, Russia, for more chats on bees and hopefully a little karaoke ;) Tune in!  https://anchor.fm/ben-the-beeman

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Rvpod ,

Fabulous

Ben is passionate, generous and brilliant with bees.Wide experience across the world and the bees love him.

beemanminno ,

A grade

A grade entertainment for beeks! Ben’s got heaps of Beekeping knowledge and interviews some really interesting people, very easy listening

bens lil helper ,

5 stars!

Great podcast, really knowledgeable and easy to listen to! seems like a really nice guy!

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