The buzz we get from having bees in our cities

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 20 May, 2021

man holding bees

Nestled on the rooftop of Endeavour College’s Brisbane Campus is a bee colony busy creating natural, raw, delicious honey from nectar and pollen gathered in nearby urban green spaces.

In honour of World Bee Day, Bee One Third founder, Jack Stone, explains why he’s on a mission to keep bees in our cities.

“We need honeybees because they contribute to over one-third of our global food supply by pollinating the plants that produce our food. Without bees, we would lose access to over 90 varieties of fresh food, a range of oils and most of our seeds,” Jack said.

“Bees are also scientists of the natural world. They eat a broad diversity of foods from different plant and flower species. They mix enzymes from their stomachs with the nectar they’ve gathered to create nature’s original superfood, honey, packed with health benefits.”

“Honey contains nutrients and antioxidants that can improve cholesterol and heart health, lower triglycerides and blood pressure and promote skin healing. Plus, if you buy local honey like ours, it is also unheated, unpasteurised, minimally processed and 100% Australian,” he said. “It has also a taste specific to the neighbourhood where the bees have been placed and cared for by our beekeepers.”

For Jack, keeping bees was a natural progression from growing food in his mum’s garden and supporting local seasonal producers. After spending four years travelling the world, working on farms and in hospitality, Jack returned home to Brisbane to his mission in life.

“I caught my first beehive as a swarm that was hanging off a tree in Mt Gravatt and put it on a council block in East Brisbane. Within two years, from this one hive, I had 32 hives,” Jack said. “I spoke with local restaurant and café owners about keeping bees on their premises, but many people thought it was too dangerous. But the James Street Precinct team agreed to trial it for a year. In exchange for hive space, I managed their bees and honey production.”

“Within a year, I had secured three locations in Brisbane. Today, we have 15 local pollination partners, including five hives at the James St precinct, two hives on public display in the Roma Street Parkland and a sustainability project with dozens of hives at the Brisbane Airport Corporation conservation zone.

“Endeavour College approached us about five years ago, which made complete sense, given beekeeping’s alignment with natural health philosophies and practices,” Jack said. The College even set up a bee cam so people can see the hives.

“Bees can teach us a lot about living in healthy communities and caring for our environment. They keep their colonies hygienic, determining what keeps them healthy and what is no good. The daughters (worker bees) also groom each other and feed each other high-quality, protein-rich pollen mixed with honey.”

“I hope more and more people will recognise the importance of bees and other pollinating insects. They help protect and maintain healthy ecosystems and contribute to rich biodiversity. By observing the health of bees, we can also determine how healthy our environment is at the coal face.”

To celebrate World Bee Day 2021, Bee One Third has various community activities that showcase the value of bees and other pollinators.


Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, and Acupuncture, a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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