PODCAST EPISODE 11: Anita Long, Founder of the Tasmanian Junior Beekeeping Group, Tasmania
Dedicated, passionate, friendly, outgoing, patient, encouraging, warm, a wealth of knowledge – my praise for Tassie beekeeper and educator extraordinaire Anita Long is endless. I met Anita three years ago, and she has never ceased to amaze me with her vision and commitment. Anita is the founder of the Tasmanian Junior Beekeeping Group and program; she also runs in-school programs for kids about bees and beekeeping. Throughout my entire career as a beekeeper and educator, I have never met a person so committed to helping children be involved with bees and beekeeping; she has a unique and special way of tailoring complex, often scientific knowledge to suit children, ensuring they understand the information and can use it to carry out safe beekeeping practices. She also generates a very positive educational environment for children where they can thrive, gain confidence, make new friends, and nurture their wellbeing. I have seen all this firsthand, and it is for this long list of reasons that I am thrilled to welcome Anita to the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast!
In 2017 Anita started the Tasmanian Junior Beekeeping Group program in Hobart in order to give kids and adolescents the opportunity and space to learn about the importance of bees and set them on their way to becoming independent beekeepers. This is a monumental achievement – over the three years I have known Anita, I have also gotten to know the Tassie Junior Beekeepers and they are an incredible bunch! Every time I head south to visit, I am filled with awe and inspiration at how much these kids know, and in turn, I am always blown away by Anita’s work in helping them every step of the way. The group is thriving, and, in my opinion, the program is the best and only of its kind in the country – I sure wish I had such an experience with bees when I was a little tacker! Anita and her programs are a hugely valuable service to both the environment and the community; what she teaches will have an ongoing generational impact as young environmentally savvy beekeepers grow up to be older ones, and the cycle continues. To top it off, the program reached international success recently when Anita took a junior beekeeper to Slovenia for the 2019 International Centre for Young Beekeepers beekeeping competition!
Tune in to listen to Anita and I chat about the Tasmanian Junior Beekeepers, her educational programs, and her relentless passion for bees