… every Beechworth Honey product contributes to saving Australia’s honeybees
Beechworth Honey Bee Cause
At Beechworth Honey we are absolutely passionate about Australia’s honeybees. Beechworth Honey’s Bee Cause is all about helping fund important research that helps bees, its about education and awareness raising and its about keeping our politicians informed about issues facing honeybees and the impact they have on our food security.
It’s about all the things we care about so deeply and have invested so heavily in with time, money and effort over so many years just because we knew it was the right thing to do.
For us Bee Cause is about being able to look our grand children and great grandchildren (we don’t have any yet!) in the eye and say “we did what we could on our watch to help give bees a better future and to try to ensure you have a secure food future because you have enough healthy bees to pollinate your food”.
It’s about us reinvesting as much of our time, our energy and our profits as we can into worthwhile bee related causes, its about replacing us in the business to give in kind support to our causes, and its about sharing our extensive and specialised knowledge and insights by creating awareness raising activities for our visitors, our customers, our media, our industry and our politicians.
It’s about us creating unique learning opportunities and experiences that help people see bees as we do. It’s about using the business that we’ve created from scratch to leave a bigger legacy for all of our futures. Its about us being creative and finding ways to make a difference with more than just money. For us Beechworth Honey is more than a business, its an opportunity to help the bees and the more we share our products with you the more you help us to fund more generously all the things we want to do to help bees.
Thank you so much for your support, together we make a difference.
Honeybees are under threat
The threats to bees are complex, cumulative and interrelated and include the global spread of bee diseases, reduced availability of nectar and pollen resources, climate change, use of agricultural chemicals harmful to bees and a declining commercial beekeeping industry. We can all do more to help bees.
Pollinating Australia's Fresh Produce
Beekeeper Steven Goldsworthy visits a local kiwi fruit farmer
Barrowing for Bees
Beechworth Honey staff pushed beekeeper barrows 87km from Beechworth to the top of Mount Buffalo (1723mt elevation) to raise money for the Wheen Bee Foundation
How did Bee Cause come about?
Because we’ve been beekeepers for four generations (and in fact are starting to see the fifth generation start working with the bees) we’ve always loved bees. We are a family owned specialist honey business and the Australian leaders in the quest to improve public awareness of the importance of bees.
We have worked willingly to ensure that the 120,000 visitors to our education centre’s in Beechworth each year understand that honeybees pollinate 2/3’s of Australia’s agricultural produce and that they are under threat.
But we realized that it was time to spread the message as far as we could and so our Bee Cause was born.
Our ultimate aim is to develop all our customers into “Bee Cause amBEEsadors” whose knowledge about bees is heightened and who feel confident that as we continue to grow our business and products they too are helping us to do more things to help bees and in the process better secure all of our food futures.
What can you do to help honeybees?
There are loads of things you can do to help bees:
- Start by taking notice of your surrounds and making your environment more bee friendly
- Live as lightly as you can, reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly
- Plant bee friendly gardens and support tree planting and revegetation works in your community
- Become a regular donor to the Wheen Bee Foundation or hold your own morning tea, open house or garden “for the bees”
- Read and learn about bees and share your knowledge with others
- Visit Beechworth Honey Experience and Beechworth Honey Discovery, and spend some time in the Beechworth Honey archive learning more about bees from the Goldsworthy’s private collection of bee books and the Wheen Bee Foundation book collection
- Support Australian beekeepers by buying Australian honey
- Write a letter to your local politician telling them we need to do more to keep bees healthy in Australia and to prevent the varroa mite from getting into Australia
Beechworth Honey Experience hosts over 120,000 visitors and around 100 schools annually through our education centre in Beechworth showcasing the Australian beekeeping industry. The working display hive, honey tasting and free tour introduces visitors to the threats to honeybees and how beekeeping works.
Beechworth Honey Discovery just one block away features a world first “Bee Inspired Menu”, bee garden, live beehive and waggle walk showcasing the year in the life of a beekeeper. Each component is designed to develop a desire to become an amBEEsador as a deeper link between bees and food is forged.
Blossom to Blossom cycle ride and Bee Cause Bikes – Beechworth Honey has developed a fun, leisurely cycling route around Beechworth which showcases the beautiful local floral species that give Beechworth Honey its unique Australian flavor and link beekeeping to a healthy environment. We have identified each different honey producing species to allow amBEEsadors in development to identify the different nectar and pollen sources for bees.
Jodie Goldsworthy trained as a teacher and graduated the year the Victorian Government didn’t employ any teachers in the early 1990’s but her educational talents have not been wasted. She is a regular speaker at conferences, meetings and public events, speaking across Australia where she has given hundreds of talks over more than 20 years inspiring others to be more aware of bees.
Jodie focuses on the importance of honeybees to food security and is renowned for her ability to leave an audience pondering the topic long after her talk is over. She is a sought after speaker and any speaking fees she charges help the Beechworth Honey Bee Cause work. Whilst Jodie cannot accommodate all speaking requests due to a busy working life and a range of volunteer commitments she is always happy to consider all requests to try to arrange other suitable speakers if she is unavailable. Click here to enquire about her speaking at your event.
Beechworth Honey has been a financial contributor to the Victorian and NSW Apiarists Associations major annual public education activities at the Royal Melbourne and Sydney Royal Agricultural shows annually for more years than they can remember. Each year they donate honey to be sold to the value of $5000 to each organisation which supports the industry associations to connect with the public and advocate for bees.
Volunteer Industry and bee related advocacy
Growing up in a beekeeping family, always being surrounded by industry affairs and issues, and finding herself amongst a small group of natural leaders within the beekeeping industry Jodie took on volunteer industry advocacy roles at a young age. She is fortunate to have been mentored by leaders starting long before her in Linton Briggs – AM and Dr. Max Whitten – AM whom she continues to work with.
Steven & Jodie Goldsworthy are long standing members of the Victorian, NSW and Queensland Apiarists Associations where Jodie shares her knowledge and vision amongst her beekeeping colleagues. She is a regular contributor to industry journals and a speaker at beekeeper conferences.
Jodie has been a Secretary, Vice President and is the current President of the Australian Honey Packers & Marketers Association of Australia. She advocates for better outcomes for Australian beekeepers.
Jodie has served on various committees within the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and is currently on the Food Safety & Prevention of Residues Committee tacking important issues which impact the viability of beekeeping in Australia.
Jodie was a member of the Australian Deputy Prime Ministers Regional Women’s Advisory Council for 6 years from 2002 – 2008. She brought issues affecting rural and regional Australia to Canberra every 12 weeks via the eyes of a young rural woman involved in beekeeping.
Jodie was an invited attendee of the Australian Prime Ministers 2020 Summit held in Canberra in 2007 where she shared the issue of the need to help bees for national food security benefits.
Jodie was one of fourteen group members in the Food Processing Industry Strategy Group who’s mission was to provide expert advice and foster a common understanding of the issues facing the food processing sector and to develop practical solutions lead by industry to improve innovation, increase growth, employment, productivity and competitiveness in the sector. In September 2012 the group provided an industry report to the Minister for Industry and Innovation The Hon Greg Combet.
Jodie was appointed to the board of the Australian Food & Grocery Council in 2015. She joined to ensure Australia’s key food producers understand the link between their products and bees better and to help better position Australia’s food supply for the future.
Jodie has been a board member on the Wheen Bee Foundation since 2009 and has contributed over $175,000 in in-kind voluntary directors fees as a volunteer board member amongst her fellow volunteer board members who make the same in kind contribution to the organisation.
In 2011 Jodie Goldsworthy & fellow Wheen Bee Foundation Chairman Dr Max Whitten instigated the Food Security needs Bee Security Campaign which was designed to lobby government to eradicate the Asian Bee incursion in Cairns, Queensland.
Beechworth Honey provided the administrative support and more than $50,000 funding to run in conjunction with the Australian Honeybee Industry Council one of the Australian beekeeping industry’s most successful campaigns in it’s history. This initiative lead to the government committing $2million to a containment plan and to a senate inquiry into the decision to declare the Asian bee endemic.
In 2015 Beechworth Honey were active campaigners for better Country of Origin Food Labelling Laws. Through the collection of surveys from our education centres we positively influenced better labelling laws which will assist consumers to make more informed purchase decisions for honey by providing more transparent consumer choices to allow better support of Australian honey products and better differentiation for Australian honey. In February 2016 Beechworth Honey will be the first Australian company to include the new labelling requirements on a new range of our products.
In 2015 Jodie Goldsworthy was appointed as President Oceania to Apimondia the international peak beekeeping and bee specific scientific organization. Her voluntary position sees her amongst the worlds 15 foremost decision makers and influential people in the international beekeeping fraternity. Jodie’s appointment allows her to progress issues affecting bees at an international level and she does so with passion and enthusiasm.
Steven provides all the support Jodie needs to take on the many and varied volunteer positions she manages. He keeps his bees happy and the business on track while Jodie is away being a passionate amBEEsador, and he keeps the home fires burning and sees to the needs of the family. Without his quiet, unquestioning and unqualified support Jodie would not be able to do what she does to help bees.
Together Steven and Jodie make the perfect Bee Cause team leaders and through their actions have developed an amazing team of Beechworth Honey amBEEsadors in their wider staff who every day follow their lead and advocate for the bees as they go about their daily interactions with our customers, our suppliers and our beekeepers.
We’re a committed little colony at Beechworth Honey and we all work together and love doing what we do to help bees.
Supporting Research Programs
Beechworth Honey was involved with research managed by the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation on Value Adding to Honey, work aimed at creating more value for Australian beekeepers. We provided hundreds of complimentary samples of honey to the researchers and worked with them to check the botanical origin of the samples for them to discover prebiotic properties of Australian honey.
Beechworth Honey have contributed financially to the Wheen Bee Foundation to help fund honeybee health related projects on maintaining biosecurity and preparing Australia’s honey bee industry for varroa mite. In 2015 Beechworth Honey raised over $11,000 for the Wheen Bee Foundation with the Beechworth Honey staff team participating in the Beechworth Barrowthon where they pushed two beekeeping barrows 88kms from Beechworth to Mt Buffalo in 2 days.
In 2016 Beechworth Honey will contribute over 200 honey samples to Melbourne University pollen researchers as part of a Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation study of the pollen sources for bees from the various Australian honey producing trees. It will also lay important ground work in laying determining pollen fingerprints for Australian honey that will help the Australian industry fight the threat of imported fake honey to the viability of Australian beekeeping.
More money is needed to fund more research into bees and their threats. If you’d like to be a regular contributor to the Wheen Bee Foundation or help in any way visit www.wheenbeefoundation.org.au
Other Environmental Passions Which Help a Little
For the past 20 years we have planted thousands of trees on our farm to improve biodiversity and reintroduce local species. We love selecting our favourite eucalyps; yellow box, red gum, red box, and ironbark to name a few and watching them grow to include shelter for our stock and homes for birds and insects.
We’re also on our way to generating all our own solar power with the Beechworth Honey factory converted to solar in 2013 and 2016 being set aside to invest in solar installations for our education centres in Beechworth.
Why not do something positive for your environment and community... join your local landcare group or visit the National Tree Day website and get planting!