Urban apiarist Jack Wilson Stone is bringing bees back to the city with roof top hives producing sweet local honey.
Look up around Brisbane and you’ll see rooftops populated with bees flocking to hives Jack is establishing in the most unlikely places though his business Bee One Third.
Jack is on a mission to educate Australia on the vital role of the honey bee in pollinating fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Under threat from pesticides, diseases and urban sprawl, Jack is giving bees a hand up with an introduction to a new urban neighbourhood and a home to boot.
Some of the businesses that have adopted bee hives include James Street Initiative, The Gunshop Cafe, Traders Hotel, Clear Mountain Mercure Lodge, Meat @ Billy’s, Statler & Walforf and The Euro.
Here Jack explains how Bee One Third is building up Brisbane’s bee population.
How many hives do you look after in Brisbane?
At the moment Bee One Third looks after 25 beehives around Brisbane. We are projecting a growth to around 50 beehives this coming season beginning in September.
How many bees and much honey do they produce?
With the current 25 beehives that have been brought up from various stages, we’re taking care of around 700,000 bees. Over the past season those bees have produced in excess of 2 Ton of honey. They are the hardest workers in this city and we are proud of the work our bees do!
What’s the most common misconception about bees?
That bees are out to target, sting and hurt us. Bees are gentle creatures. They are furry, inquisitive and curious insects, that just so happen to be able to move very quickly. More often than not, when humans are stung by a bee it is caused from the ignorance of the human. Swatting at bees doesn’t get them to go away, it only poses more of a risk to their livelihood! I suggest, walking away slowly while slowly brushing the bee away with gentle hand movements.
What would you most like people to know about bees or their hives?
That bees are incredibly intelligent creatures. Bees are attracted to heat, colour and scent. They are guided by polarised light (invisible to humans) and each other to source out new locations of nectar and pollen. They operate and live in a heavily refined and unique ecosystem inside their hives, where health is their prime focus. With strong, healthy colonies comes productive and rich pollination.
What’s your mission?
To help a broad range of people understand the benefits of supporting a diverse ecosystem through tying the knot to where our food comes from and how it’s produced. Education around pollination is a powerful tool for helping people re-engage with where their food is sourced from. Using bees as a medium for a broader conversation around the current state and future of our food system is at the foundation of our mission.
How do you best like to eat honey?
I love my ‘hood honey’ just as it is. The flavours are incredible! Otherwise, lathered on some warm cultured buttered baguette.
Thanks, Jack. That sounds like the perfect way to eat honey!