The COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes across the globe. We have all felt it, some much more than others.
My heart goes out to those people that have been rocked by the illness and its side effects, be they emotional, mental, or financial. Andrew Wilson, the founder of Sydney Bee Rescue and Snives Hives, is someone who was affected considerably by the pandemic, losing his job.
However, bees came to the rescue and turned things around (as they seem to do!), and I am thrilled to introduce Andrew to the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast for episode 59.
It’s common knowledge that it takes many years of study and training to become a qualified pilot. So, for Andrew, a pilot who flew planes internationally as his career, the shock of COVID-19 was life-changing.
Pilots across the world faced redundancies as long-haul flights came to a complete halt. With time to think on his hands, Andrew considered the activities in his life he was passionate about. It was then that his sideline beekeeping gig turned into something much more serious.
These days, Andrew has turned around what could have been seen as misfortune into a brilliant and rewarding new career. Funnily, I have mentored and sold many bee colonies to pilots. Perhaps a shared love of flying makes bees and pilots an instant match!
A clever bloke no doubt, Andrew is a wealth of information about bees and runs his businesses with conservation as their driving force. Sydney Bee Rescue is dedicated to relocating bee nests and hives that have become a nuisance or cropped up in unwanted places to State and National Park apiaries where the bees can live peaceful and happy lives.
Snives Hives is a small-scale apiary on Sydney’s north shore that produces and sells honey, wax, and other bee-related products, as well as providing bee and swarm management services.
However, what warms the heart about this enterprise is that all the hives are from colonies of bees that Wilson has rescued from roof cavities, walls, floors, and backyard trees! What a gem!
But the love doesn’t end there— Andrew is always open and willing to provide insightful tips. One of my favourites is that he uses a plate warmer to help de-crystallise honey. This helps to loosen it up and turn it back into that superb golden elixir without overly heating it and destroying its wonderful properties. Andrew is also incredibly charitable and volunteers much of his time at his local beekeeping club.
Tune in to hear Andrew and I chat about the transition from flying to beekeeping, how it feels to be a full-time beekeeper in beautiful Sydney, and what inspires his practice and business direction.