PODCAST EPISODE 69: Stan Taylor, beekeeper and author of Stan’s Bee Book, Western Australia
Ben’s Bees has given me so many incredible opportunities. I love the people I meet each and every day through running a business built on passion. This includes activists and entrepreneurs doing incredible work that helps the environment and makes living on this planet a more joyful and sustainable experience. But of course, it is the beekeepers themselves that hold an extra special place in my heart – by creating the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast I have had the utter privilege of meeting the most amazing keepers and hearing the varied stories of how they came to love bees, keep bees, make bees their life and possibly career. This next podcast is an extra special example of just that: please welcome 92-year-old gem, beekeeper and author Stan Taylor for episode 69 of the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast.
Now, there is something extra special about this particular podcast – Stan is deaf, which meant that to share his story I had to send him questions via text message, and he was then able to respond verbally for the program. Even just this element of the process of the conversation feels special; the ability to overcome adversities of different kinds to connect and build community is something I think about more and more each day.
Born in 1929 in Manchester, England, and trained as an accountant, Stan migrated to Western Australia in 1950 where he was struck a local job shortage; this led him to work for the legendary Rob Smith, helping out with Karri planting and flowering. Before he knew it, Stan had leased himself some hives, and for almost 70 years, he has been keeping bees and learning from them every step of the way. Stan’s story is full of heart-warming gems: the way he would drop a handkerchief gently over a bee so he could listen to it “talking”; and the time, when preparing for a bush fire to sweep through, an unusual man – a kind of “bee whisperer”– wearing nothing by thongs and bathers appeared, completely unperturbed by the savage bees that were swarming Stan and his friend. ““They never sting me,” he said, and they didn’t, said Stan, although he has no idea why.
Tune in for this special episode of beekeeping tips that come from years of experience, advice for new beekeepers, and enthralling stories of almost 70 years of beekeeping in rough Australian terrain.