Yandoit beekeeper has something to buzz about

Yandoit beekeeper Craig Terrell reckons he’s onto something.
The local apiarist practises what he calls holistic beekeeping to produce resilient bees.
“I don’t require antibiotics or supplementary feeding of bees,” says Mr Terrell who use to work as a bricklayer until, about six years ago, he got stung by the beekeeping bug and hasn’t looked back since.
Mr Terrell says his methods are producing bees that are resistant to several diseases that can afflict bees including American Foul Brood and European Foul Brood, while his bees are producing honey and honeycomb free of micro-contaminants.
“I’ve just started producing wild state honeycomb free of antibiotics and synthetics,” he says.
“Micro-contaminants in bee hives is a major issue.”
At his Yandoit property Mr Terrell has 82 hives and his bees can range over red box, yellow box, cape weed and yellow gum, he says.
For the past nine months he’s been busy brewing up what he hopes will become liquid gold – honey mead that he says is produced to an ancient recipe.
“If this mead is excellent I’ll sell it in high-end boutique food outlets,” says the beekeeper who’s aiming to produce around 200 litres of mead including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties.
Right now the fermentation process is halfway through the full 18-month process he says.
“I’ve just been doing very small batches until I get everything right. Then I’ll go for gold.”
Mr Terrell is keen to impart his enjoyment of his holistic approach to beekeeping to others – particularly a new generation of beekeepers.
“I want to teach children they can have their own hives if they wish,” says Mr Terrell who’s now looking to deliver talks on beekeeping at Chewton Primary School next term.
He also says he much prefers to use the Warré style of beehive over the more conventional, larger Langstroth hive.
“The Langstroth is a third larger, which means the Warré is more heat efficient. The bees have less surface area to heat in winter, which means less stress on the bees and more honey,” he says.
Mr Terrell sells the honey his bees produce to various food outlets in Daylesford, Glenlyon and Castlemaine and soon hopes to be marketing both his wild state honeycomb and mead as well.

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