WESTERN Australia’s first beekeeper training program started last week, with students attending their first class in Yanchep on Friday.
The course gives students a pathway to becoming professional beekeepers and will run out of the Y.hub facility on Yanchep Beach Road.
The training and business hub is a Yanchep Beach Joint Venture initiative. Executive manager Jon Kelly, who is also the Yanchep institute chief operating officer, welcomed the start of the program.
“The Certificate III in Beekeeping is a nationally recognised qualification to be delivered by the Beekeeping Training College WA, in partnership with the Cooperative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products and the Yanchep Institute,” Mr Kelly said.
The industry-focused course will cover a series of skills, including how to build a beehive, nurture a honey bee colony and extract the honey bee product, and emphasises responsible beekeeping through vocational training.
There are 24 places on the course, with 15 students already enrolled, who started training at the Y-hub facility and nearby Yanchep Community Garden on April 13.
During the six-month course, students will meet in Yanchep one Friday every month for a day of training.
The state’s bee industry, led by the Bee Industry Council of WA, has been pushing for this qualification to be available locally.
The State Government announced last week April 11 it had endorsed the Certificate III in Beekeeping as a traineeship.
“We want to keep WA’s reputation as a producer of outstanding honey and protect this natural asset while also creating WA jobs in the industry,” Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said.
“Providing the WA apiary industry with access to local high-quality training pathways ensures job opportunities.”
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said WA’s “unique flora, pristine environment and isolation” enabled it to produce “world-class” honey.
“Ensuring we have trained and qualified staff to work in our apiaries will give this blossoming industry the best possible chance of seizing the opportunity to make WA honey, a globally recognised product to rival manuka honey,” she said.
The Co-operative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products, based in the Y.hub, will focus on the value, expansion and security of WA and Australia’s honey bee products.
“Honey bee products have a staggering potential for WA as a fine food product, especially for China where they value medicinal honey,” centre chief executive Liz Barbour said.
WA has the healthiest honey bees in the world.
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