Think Gold Coast food industry and an apiary may not be the first to come to mind, but it’s our latest food production unit, albeit small scale.
The Brickworks Centre has just installed four rooftop beehives, a project which will provide new habitat for over 300,000 bees and produce a signature ‘Brickworks’ flavoured honey.
With rooftop beehives and gardens on trend in major cities across the world, The Brickworks’hives are the first of several urban apiaries in the southeast, the others soon to be installed at Jupiters Hotel and Casino and Halcyon House, Cabarita.
We spoke with beekeeper and hive installer Jack Stone at the Brickworks’ lifestyle event ‘EAT PLAY LIVE’, when the hives were launched.
“A healthy bee population is crucial to ensuring the diversity and sustainability of plants and crops, so this delivery of bees means gardens around Southport and Surfers Paradise will experience a complete regeneration,” he said. “Bees are attracted to three things: the scent (of the flowers), the colour (of the petals), and the richness of the flavour,” he tells us. “There is an abundance of giardiniera in the local area.”
“Each bee pollinates about 50,000 flowers in its life time, so that means that over 15 billion flowers will be seeded within a five to seven kilometre radius of these new rooftop hives. Just like humans, one of the most important things for bees is a diversity of diet for their future health.”
There’s a double benefit from the apiary, making it a great community initiative. Not only will local gardens regenerate, but also the hives are expected to annually produce around 480kg of honey unique to the local area.
“The Brickworks honey will have a distinct flavour profile depending on which season it is harvested, and what is in flower, so it’s a perfect opportunity for Gold Coasters to buy completely pure, unadulterated local honey.”
An apiarist for around six years, Jack has named his company ‘Bee One Third’ in reference to the fact that one third of the world’s food supply is pollinated by bees. Using 100% cold extraction from the hives, the raw honey is filtered to remove sediment before bottling.
Jack also sees his company as a social enterprise, employing refugees and at risk youth to help take care of the beehives. Beekeeping is one of the most symbiotic relationships between humans and insects, but one requiring constant care and patience.
The Brickworks Centre, 107 Ferry Road, Southport
Bee One Third: www.beeonethird.com.au
NOTE: This review has also been published on Blank Gold Coast.