PODCAST EPISODE 30: Peter Gatehouse from Hill Top Hives, South Gippsland, Australia
It’s quite uncanny, but there are many remarkable stories of transformation that centre on bees. It seems to me that bees often enter someone’s life and a change in perspective, even career, ensues that is fulfilling in a way that person needed quite deeply. These stories – which are told quite often – give me goosebumps. Of course, there are logical explanations that might lead a person to fall in love with bees, but I still feel there is some magic there – the world’s most remarkable creatures helping us out, making our days brighter, showing us how to live in a simpler, more natural way.
Peter Gatehouse of Hill Top Hives has one of these stories, and I am thrilled to introduce you to him in episode 30 of the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast. Peter was born and raised in Melbourne and moved to South Gippsland with his partner Margaret and young family in 1991, where they settled in Mirboo North. Over the years, the family grew their garden; a special place, that transformed over time, and was even home to some happy chickens and geese. When bees seemed like the next step in the garden’s evolution, Peter was excited to welcome them to the property – he knew that bees would be helpful to pollinate his flowers and that he would eventually garner some delicious honey from them when the time was right. However, he was unaware of how these bees would change his life.
After an unforeseen redundancy after many years as a medical scientist, Peter had the time to commit to his ever-growing passion for bees, and before long, a humble beekeeping hobby blossomed into Hill Top Hives! Hill Top Hives produces local wildflower honeys that display unique colours and flavours specific to South Gippsland, providing customers with honey that they can be confident is sourced locally and ethically. Peter also sources other mono-floral honeys for his customers from other reputable sources when available. In addition, Hill Top Hives offers beautiful beeswax lip balms, wraps, candles and, soon, soaps. Peter also leases hives, manages other people’s hives and offers a consultancy service.
Tune in to hear Peter and I chat about Hill Top Hives, how his scientific background has bolstered his ability to diagnose illness and disease in the hive, and sustainability in local beekeeping.