Buzz growing around beekeeping in the Valley

Latrobe Valley Beekeepers Association co-chair Steve Murphy said the group had only been running for five weeks but had already gained 45 members. photograph hayley mills

Latrobe Valley Beekeepers Association co-chair Steve Murphy said the group had only been running for five weeks but had already gained 45 members. photograph hayley mills

They say that bees are busy but the beekeepers of the Latrobe Valley may be giving the little critters a run for their money this year.

While the Latrobe Valley Beekeepers Association has only been operating for a matter of weeks, the group has already garnered more than 45 members and is expecting to grow further with an exciting line-up of guest speakers for their upcoming meetings.

The association aims to promote good beekeeping practices and to form a supportive community for beekeepers and those interested in learning more about beekeeping.

Latrobe Valley Beekeepers Association co-chair Steve Murphy attributed the rapid growth in members to a "need for a bee group in Moe that wasn't being met".

"It was very surprising that we got a lot of interest very quickly," Mr Murphy said.

"Some [members] have many hives, some people have one, some people have none – it is open and available for anybody.

"Anyone who wants to learn and know about bees is welcome to come to club meetings."

Mr Murphy recently received a grant from the Latrobe Health Assembly to facilitate a beekeeping course for young, unemployed people to teach them how to keep a hive and other associated skills.

Mr Murphy will facilitate the course in two rounds – the first round has just finished and the second one is expected to begin early next year.

"[The first round] was massively successful," Mr Murphy said.

"The people who came to do the course, many of them had never picked up a screwdriver.

"Not only did they learn about how to look after bees, I taught them a whole range of different machines, they tried tools and how to work with timber to make the boxes ... they had an absolute ball and they learnt a huge range of new skills."

Mr Murphy said beekeeping could be a viable business venture for people wanting to make some extra money.

"With beekeeping it is very easy for people to start out with a hive and build up the number of hives they have slowly ... and gain a small income from them," he said.

For more information about Latrobe Valley Beekeepers Association, visit the Facebook page, Latrobe Valley Beekeepers Association or phone Mr Murphy on 0450 5620 021.

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