Leonie Schwarzel

So, you want to become a beekeeper

I’m excited to be speaking with Leonie Schwarzel, who is a fellow beekeeper with extensive experience (more than me).
I met Leonie when I joined the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society three years ago.

There is a lot beekeepers need to know, so I thought it would be useful to discuss the basics before starting a hive.

In this interview we speak about things to consider before you start beekeeping, including:

  • deciding if beekeeping is right for you
  • finding out the benefits of joining a bee club
  • doing a beekeeper training course
  • determining if your environment is suitable for European honey bees
  • questioning why you want to be a beekeeper
  • registering your hive with Department of Primary Industries (NSW Australia)
  • reporting and logbook requirements to monitor and prevent pests.

Bio: Leonie Schwarzel

Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds”.Thor Hanson

Growing up in rural areas between Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Leonie developed an avid interest in honeybees when a beekeeper would bring his hives to her parent’s orchards and horticultural properties during the flowering/pollination season each year.

At their large farm-shed stall, her family stocked and sold a wide variety of honeys, in addition to the fruit &and flowers they produced. That bees were vital in producing abundant fruit and rewarded us with honey, sealed Leonie’s lifelong gratitude, love and fascination for these industrious little insects.

Fast forward forty years; after a successful career teaching at schools and university, Leonie returned to her rural roots by settling on a small farm near Mt Warning in the beautiful Tweed Valley, northern New South Wales, Australia. She immediately established several honeybee hives and opened a farm-gate stall to sell the exquisite honey her bees produce in the rural & World Heritage listed Mt Warning environs.

Leonie is a committee member of the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society (GCABS). She trains and mentors new beekeepers and in addition to her own hives, she manages another small commercial apiary in the Tweed Valley region.

Useful links

Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society Inc

Queensland Beekeepers Association Email: qbainc@bigpond.com
NSW Apiarist Assn. Inc Email: info@nswaa.com.au
Victorian Apiarist’s Association Phone: (03) 5446 1455
South Australian Apiarist Association Email: secretary@saaa.org.au
Tasmanian Beekeepers Association Email: secretary@tasmanianbeekeepers.org.au
Western Australia FFI Beekeepers Email: lucy@wafarmers.org.au

 

Transcript of interview Leonie Schwarzel

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