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Commercial Beekeeping Program

5 Bees Participants Announced

Wheen Bee Foundation is pleased to announce the names of 15 commercial beekeepers who will participate in the first intake of the 5Bees program that commences in April 2021.

Benjamin Laybutt NSW
Daryl Brenton NSW
Diana McQueen-Richardson NSW
Jeff Matsen NSW
Stephen Donohue NSW
Stephen Fuller NSW
Corinne Jordan QLD
Stephen Locke QLD
Aaron Woolston SA
Mark Harte SA
Verity Hayman & Brenton Davis SA
Matthew Gledhill Victoria
Andrew Morcom WA
David Christensen WA
Matthew Colvin WA

 “It’s a really great accolade to be awarded one of these scholarships”, said Fiona Chambers, CEO of Wheen Bee Foundation.  “Each beekeeper scholarship is valued at $18,000 and will allow beekeepers to trial new technologies and practices in their businesses over the next three years”.

The program will support beekeepers to be more productive and sustainable as they adapt in the face of climate change. Based on action research principles, the participating beekeepers identify and drive the program focus based on what’s most relevant to them. Two small groups of 7 and 8 beekeepers from across Australia will be supported by an experienced group facilitator and industry experts will participate as guest speakers to talk on topics identified by the group.  A small budget is available to each group to allow beekeepers to test and trial new technologies and evaluate their value for adoption.

It may be the first program of its kind for the beekeeping industry, but action research is certainly not new. Almost every other agricultural industry has benefitted from similar programs over the past 30 years. Sometimes called ‘focus groups’, Farm Management 500, Target 10, Dairy Business Focus, Business Edge, Footrot Free Flocks are just some of the industry programs that have run successfully across numerous industries based on this model.

Wheen Bee Foundation are funding the 5 Bees program from their Bushfire Rebuild and Recovery Fund.  More groups are planned subject to industry funding and beekeeper interest and demand. If you are interested to be kept informed about future 5Bees opportunities, email

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