Australia has a rich heritage in beekeeping, producing some of the world’s highest quality honey. However, there is a current skill shortage amidst an ageing profile in the industry. As such, Capilano aims to help future-proof beekeeping in Australia by training a new generation of beekeepers.
There’s a lot more to professional beekeeping than meets the eye; from having a deep understanding of colony balance, seasonal requirements and bee health, to business acumen and solid trade skills. In a nutshell, the job is diverse, demanding but above all, rewarding.
For many in our beekeeping community, beekeeping is a family tradition. Many beekeepers have been lucky enough to learn the craft alongside their parents and grandparents – who, in turn, learnt from their parents and grandparents.
However, it seems that fewer and fewer young people consider beekeeping as a viable career option. This could be in part because the older generation of beekeepers, who have successfully fuelled the home-grown industry for many years, are retiring without having the opportunity to pass down their valuable knowledge of the craft.
In 2016, Capilano formed a 50/50 joint venture beekeeping enterprise ‘Medibee Apiaries’ with New Zealand company, Comvita.
To help keep the ancient craft of beekeeping alive, we are working with MediBee Apiaries on the launch of a unique scholarship program to equip future beekeepers with the knowledge and skills to ensure the sustainability of the profession in Australia.
This newly created program includes a full-time paid position at Medibee Apiaries as part of the three-year paid apprenticeship scheme, that will see our successful applicants become qualified beekeepers upon completion. The new apprentices will be trained in all aspects of beekeeping including husbandry, extraction and logistics alongside a qualified mentor.
In addition to this, the apprentices will have the opportunity to complete a Certificate III in Beekeeping (AHC32010) at Tocal College, with all course fees and associated travel costs fully covered. At the completion of the three-year program, the apprentice will become a qualified beekeeper for Capilano with all licenses and compliance courses paid for, and further opportunities to complete a management course available if they choose to do so. Meet the successful 2017 apprentices here!
Please stay tuned for our next round of applications.