"Necessity is a hard master, but it teaches well."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I originally got into Beekeeping when my fishing partner accumulated so many beehives, he didn’t have the time to come fishing anymore! Having always been a little interested in Bees and a massive consumer of honey, one day I went along with him to conduct an inspection of his colonies.
Yep, it was pretty cool, and it was at a time when I needed a project to maintain engagement with my 2 young sons aged 8 and 6. So, I painted an internal wall with whiteboard paint and purchased a box of coloured markers. We brainstormed ideas and conducted a lot of market and product research together. We then bought 20 x 5 frame nucs from a breeder (who later become a good friend and mentor) and started a honey label called “Levi & Elek’s”.

Like most newbees however, our first honey simply couldn’t come fast enough so to speed up the process, when spring hit, we started catching swarms and established a second apiary site. Overnight we basically doubled in size and I could see a clear difference between Rottnest Mainland Mated Daughter Colonies and the Ferals, it really was “night & day” difference and it didn’t take long before I was begrudgingly working the feral colonies by myself as they were just too aggressive for the boys, even when fully suited up.
So I then went down the path of requeening at a time when no one had queens to sell. From there I decided to spend $3K on 3 breeders (1 queen mother and 2 drone mothers), purchased 20 mini mating nucs and set up a mating yard in my back yard south of Perth.

I did a course, bought books, bought all the gear (with no idea) and You Tubed my little heart out to learn how to raise queens. With a number of failed attempts and after a few calls to my now mentor, he decided to take me under his wing and show me how it’s done. I made sooooo many mistakes in that back yard, I then made soooo many mistakes trying to introduce these fantastic genetics into these aggressive colonies. That season I must of produced 60 queens to successfully requeen just 20 hives. Let me tell you however, there’s no better feeling 3-4 weeks down the track when you start to see golden bees emerge amongst the black ferals and then 3 weeks later you’ve got a colony that seems to want to work with you, rather than against you!

This all happened right at the start of covid, so it allowed
me to invest more time into breeding and scale-up. From there I’ve thoroughly
enjoyed queen rearing fuelled by the continual compliments from customers (both
amateur and commercial). In 2022 I decided to become a full-time commercial
breeder. I’ve learnt and achieved so much on my journey and now with a bit of
experience under my belt wish to continue to reinvest more in innovation to
continue to learn and to provide a quality product to my clients. It’s about
quality more than quantity for me.

Cheers & thanks for your time