From the Newsroom

Min Fuller of Bee Services with Primary Industries teacher Johnathan Kelemac, Grafton High School Year 11 students Ashlyn Chappel, Jackson Duroux, and Patrick Kennedy, and teacher’s aide Nikki Rawling. Image: contributed

A great bees-ness to bee in

Emma Pritchard


For Min Fuller, of Bee Services, there is no sweeter sight than seeing students embrace the opportunity to learn about beekeeping, and the important roles bees play in sustaining the environment.

Last week, her family owned and operated business at Clarenza was a hive of activity for Grafton High School Year 11 students Ashlyn Chappel, Jackson Duroux, and Patrick Kennedy, as they undertook work experience between July 24-28.

From pollination and honey production, to hive maintenance and the health of individual colonies, the students were buzzing with excitement as they experienced a glimpse into the unique diversity of the beekeeping industry.

“I think all of them were mind blown when they learned how much is involved with beekeeping,” Ms Fuller said.

“They all enjoyed it.

“To see young people taking an interest in and learning about beekeeping, it made my day.”

While more than 200 students have undertaken work experience at Bee Services throughout the past 12 years, Ms Fuller has always been a passionate advocate when it comes to encouraging adolescents to become involved with beekeeping.

“The average age of beekeepers in the industry is 58,” she explained.

“We need to get more young people involved to keep it going.

“The industry has experienced a lot of hardships lately off the back of bushfires and floods, and since the varroa mite was first discovered in the country in 2022, things have only become tougher.

“We need to do what we can to educate young people about beekeeping, and equip them with the necessary skills to help the industry stay alive.”

Bee Services look after 3500 hives across a radius of between 500 and 600km, and assisted in the production of 120 tonnes of honey last season.

As part of their work experience, students travelled between different locations, and participated in a variety of beekeeping activities.

Ms Fuller said it was very rewarding to watch the students grow in confidence during the week as they spent more and more time working with and around bees, with Jackson later declaring he would like to give beekeeping a go in the future.

“It was great to hear him say that, but his mum told him he has to finish school first,” Ms Fuller said.

Ms Fuller is also encouraging anyone interested in beekeeping to reach out to local beekeeping groups on social media, and to register as a hobbyist or commercial beekeeper with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

Bee Services are looking forward to hosting more work experience students later in the year.