BEEKEEPER Bart Cole wants Belmont residents to love their bees as he does.
The City of Belmont has invited Mr Cole to share his passion for beekeeping and how to set up a hive at a free seminar at Ruth Faulkner Library on March 20.
Mr Cole’s fascination ignited 35 years ago at a beekeeping night class.
His chance to build hives of his own came two years ago, after he helped a friend capture a wild swarm from a suburban backyard.
Ten hives later, Mr Cole has bees across Perth, including at his Winthrop home and a Lesmurdie farm.
His favourite honey comes from suburban hives.
“In the suburbs there are European flowers and lots of different plants. People tend to be house-proud, so their gardens have lots of colour.”
He said the honey was sweeter, lighter-coloured and less viscous than bush or farm varieties, where bees fed on native plants like eucalyptus of the popular jarrah variety.
Mr Cole said pesticides were a problem for bees on farms. “People don’t realise we need bees to pollinate our crops,” he said.
“Without bees you don’t have crops like rice or corn – we won’t have any food.”
Bee populations have declined in Europe and America, though not in WA, which remains disease-free.
Mr Cole warned his hobby was not for the faint-hearted.
“People are horrified when I tell them how many times I’ve been stung.
“Not the first few stings, or few hundred stings, but after a while it’s like there’s some chemical in your body that counteracts the pain,” he said.
Details about Bart the Beekeeper’s free presentation at www.belmont.wa.gov.au/