Bernie Cook grew up with beehives in the backyard of the family home. He took charge of his first hive at just 11 years of age. With over 40 years experience of caring for hives both in the backyard and on a commercial scale, he is the quintessential ‘bee whisperer’. Bernie is larger-than-life, empathic and full of stories. He is in his element when helping others experience the magical synergy between humans and bees.
Kim Carter became fascinated with bees when a neighbour’s swarm took up residence in her back yard 15 years ago. Kim has now been beekeeping for 5 years and is totally hooked. Kim is an artist and teacher who loves learning about these amazing creatures and sharing that knowledge with others.
Bernie and Kim have studied Permaculture Design and have incorporated bees as an intrinsic part of their garden system.
In January they established a company "The Art Of Bee-ing". Mission statement is"Bring bees and people together". The business creates mentoring and educating bee-keepers.
It is estimated that one third of all food consumed by humans has been pollinated by a bee. So protecting our pollinators by creating a bee-friendly garden is a move towards protecting our own food security.
Kim with her daughter has produced a colouring book, and the business is partnering with Numurkah Community Learning Centre with a range of products and training courses.
Bees are disappearing for several reasons. Colony collapse due to disorder and varroa mite, the increase use of pesticides, climate change, with bees temperature sensitive, and loss of habitat, particularly through bushfires.
Aim is to inspire people to welcome bees into their home by creating a bee friendly garden with plant diversity, plants with lots of colour, do not use pesticides, use of local native plants and provision of water.