PODCAST EPISODE 26: Adrian O’Hagan from The Bearded Bee, Melbourne
When I first came across natural beekeeping, I knew I had found my place in the world. I love technology (when used for good and not evil) and new ways of adapting and doing things; I also love small business and being fortunate enough to make a living via and as a result of bees; however, I believe that beekeeping should be done always with the best interests of these incredible insects in mind. With that said, I am delighted to share episode 26 of the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast with you, introducing a man who wholeheartedly stands for the animal-centric approach of natural beekeeping – Adrian O’Hagan of The Bearded Bee, a company that believes in “making a bee’s life as peaceful as possible. Minimal interventions, a lifetime in the same place, and lots of good plants to forage. We place our hives with avid gardeners who respect the contributions of the humble bee.” Adrian believes that bees need to be treated with respect, and, as a result of a happy and healthy life, bees are generous and remarkable enough to give us honey; but not at their own expense! For this reason, Adrian is interested in selling honey locally, not in mass production, which is often detrimental to the health and happiness of bees.
Adrian fell in love with beekeeping when he hosted a beehive in his backyard under the supervision of beekeeper and mentor Claire Pare. He watched on as Claire cared for the colony, keenly observing how she carried out her inspections. After that, Adrian continued his education through a beekeeping course with the Perm-Apiculture Group; his confidence grew, and he was soon helping Claire take care of her hives throughout the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. As time went by, Adrian’s hive collection grew, and – in a cycle of events – he started hosting his own hives in the gardens of other people. These gardens often belonged to avid gardeners and permaculture enthusiasts, which meant that Adrian could be confident that his bees were living in a chemical-free environment and would be respected by their hosts. As the business grew, the honey flowed freely, leading to his business, The Bearded Bee. These days, Adrian has almost 20 hosts, and his family get in on the action too, helping dad process honey from a bunch of very happy bees.
Tune in to episode 26 to hear Adrian and I chat about bee stings, mentoring, hosting hives, natural beekeeping and keeping honey pure, chemical-free and local.