Canberra’s Parliament House is abuzz with the news that it is now home to a new community of stingless native bees all the way from the Sunshine Coast.
In a dream opportunity for award-winning Beerburrum start-up Hive Haven, it was recently invited to install one of its innovative Hive Haven V9 hives at the nation’s capital.
Hive Haven owners Ann and Jeff Ross developed the hives to help Australian native stingless bees survive increasing heatwaves and enable the harvesting of native bee honey.
They farm the bees through the Glasshouse Mountains and the company is also a member of the University of the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre.
Manufactured locally by rotational moulding, the hives have a unique hollow insulation cavity which can be filled with a gel, enabling it to maintain a stable temperature. The company is also trialling cold-weather hives which feature a small heater.
The couple recently unveiled their hive with the support of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith, Food and Agribusiness Network Chair Jacqui Wilson-Smith, Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien and Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace (pictured).
Hive Haven Managing Director Ann Ross said she was proud her business was a fine example of Sunshine Coast innovation.
“Native bees suffer from heat and cold. The Parliament House Chief Beekeeper has been wanting to trial native bees at Parliament House for a while. This has never been possible up until now,” Ann said.
“The opportunity to install one of our award-winning hives at Parliament House is a dream come true. It’s hard to think about it without becoming emotional.”
Ann and Jeff’s big dream is to raise the profile of the Australian stingless bee industry as it moves from a cottage industry to a recognised national body.
“Stingless bee products such as honey, propolis and pollination have real employment and export opportunities for the Sunshine Coast. The climate here is ideal for native bee products,” she said.
“Aboriginals have used Stingless bee honey and propolis for tens of thousands of years as a food and medicine source. A lot of research has come out of USC in the last five years.
“We have designed and manufactured a fantastic new product right here in our community with real applications for the future of agriculture all over Australia. This is another great example of the Sunshine Coast leading the way.”
Hive Haven’s long list of accolades and awards includes being named one of 50 Small Business Leaders 2018 in Small Business Magazine 2018; an Advance Queensland Ignite Grant in 2017 and a Sunshine Coast Business Awards SMART Service and Product Award 2015.
Hive Haven develops hives at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Maleny Dairies, QUT Gardens Point and more. Visit www.hivehaven.com.au.