Bicton teen beekeeper’s backyard a hive of activity

Bicton teen Luke de Laeter. Photo: Jon Hewson
Bicton teen Luke de Laeter. Photo: Jon Hewson

THERE is plenty of buzz around Bicton teen Luke de Laeter’s business.

The 16-year-old beekeeper has been running Luke’s Bees out of his family’s backyard since he received bees on his 14th birthday.

As well as selling honey to an ever-growing customer base, the Wesley College student has also talked to about 60 classrooms around WA about the importance of bees.

Luke said beekeeping provided him a hobby.

“I’ve built the hives up and now I have two hives of about 60,000 bees in each,” he said.

“It depends on the weather, but if it’s hot then I’ll get about 20kg of honey every two to three weeks, but if the weather isn’t as nice then I might only get 6kg to 10kg.

“The business grew from friends, family, teachers buying it to lots of different people buying it.

“It’s been a different experience talking to kids both young and older; it’s helped my confidence.”

Entering Year 11, Luke will balance his school studies with the business.

“I’ll be doing VET (Vocational Education and Training) and using my Wednesdays to talk to schools,” he said.

“I’m looking at becoming a commercial beekeeper or working in horticulture and conservation; I’m keen to work outdoors.”

Luke has been nominated for a WA Young Achievers Award.