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Honey in the Valley

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May is Honey Month and to celebrate, Bees 2 Honey are bringing producers together under the one roof at Swan Settlers Markets in Herne Hill on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May for the inaugural Honey in the Valley.

Bees 2 Honey secretary Ronnie Rowe has this year taken on the role of event coordinator, and was keen to have a fresh take on Honey Month. Previously, individual outlets would showcase honey in their individual ways, but this year Ronnie hopes to expand the scope beyond the sweet syrup.

“I thought, we need to do something a bit more,” said Ronnie. “Everybody sort of thinks ‘honey, honey, honey’, but there’s so much more on offer than a jar of honey or a block of wax. Many other products that come from the bees, such as propolis that are used in health products and cosmetics.

“Even further than that are the other industries/ businesses created. You have your cafes and restaurants that use honey in their drinks and dishes. Suppliers of bee keeping equipment, plant nurseries, home hobbyists who make treats for fur babies, body products, beverages such as ambrosia and mead, gelatos. And who doesn’t like honeycomb dipped in chocolate?”

Roger Page, manager of Swan Settlers Markets, generously offered the space to the group. Already home to artisan crafts and producers and with an international food court, cellar door and gin distillery on site, it was a perfect fit.

“Honey in the Valley was a no brainer for us,” said Roger. “It is a great opportunity for people within the industry, or people that just love honey, or people that want to visit the Swan Valley – if you’re looking for that additional reason to jump in the car and drive out, Honey in the Valley is it!”

“With an event like this, our permanent vendors also get excited. They know that that this type of event is going to attract more people to the market, and it gives them a chance to get creative. For example, Swan Valley Fudge is going to be doing a honey-infused fudge for the festival.”

Natalie Vallance from Muchea Tree Farm is one of the exhibitors and will be imparting her knowledge of bees and bee-friendly plants.

Natalie says, “From my perspective, bees are just critical — bees and insects in general, but especially bees for cross-pollinating and so forth.

“You have no bees, you have no plants and you have no life. It really is that simple.”

Other stall holders and information sessions are listed below. Ronnie says. “No two stalls are the same so we show the diversity of products and businesses related to the industry.”

Stallholders
• Muchea Tree Farm – Natalie Vallance, Bee Friendly Plants
• H2H Buzz – Katy Hazelwood – Honey fermented garlic, chillies , jams and chutneys, pooch friendly treats, waxed cloths, cheese and wine gift sets and a range of bee inspired jewellery.
• Noor Bees – Yasser – Bee keeping equipment
• Sub Zero Gelato – Janneke Gerritsen – Honey inspired gelato
• Beeautify Face Products – Dani Boskjo – Face creams, lip balms, masks
• Little Eeden Farm – Sharon Peterson – Infused honey products
• Fishbee Crafts – Greg and Noel Fisher – Bee hotels
• Swan Settlers Local Produce – Matt Brenner – Honey

INFORMATION SESSIONS
Saturday 11 May
• 9.30 am Tools and Equipment – Ian Beeson
• 10.30 am Kids and Bees – Gary Richards, Down2Earth Gardening
• 11.30 am Pollinator Attracting Gardens – Gary Richards
• 12.30 pm Bio Security – DPIRD – Eloise Hinson
• 1.30 pm Beekeeping for all Abilities – Bev Lee
• 2.30 pm Honey Bee and the Bee Whisperer – Dan Dowsett

Sunday 12 May
• 9.30 am Tools and Equipment – Ian Beeson
• 10.30 am Trials of a Beginner Beekeeper – Katy Hazelwood
• 11.30 am Beekeeping for all Abilities – Bev Lee
• 12.30 pm Bee Friendly Plants – Natalie Vallance
• 1.30pm Why are bees Disappearing? – Damien Green

There is also a kids’ activity centre with a face painter and a pollen trail to follow with a sweet treat at the end. Static displays from DPIRD, WAAS and Bev Lee and Dan Dowsett and Ian Beeson will demonstrate different hives and answer questions.
Follow the event page @Honey in the Valley to keep up to date.