Benedict Hughes – Bee here now

Benedict Hughes aka the Practical Beekeeper has been extra busy this autumn; not only has he been extracting honey from his hives scattered around the Northern Suburbs, he has also been launching the Pollinator Alliance – a bee education social enterprise.

Benedict’s passion is sharing his love of beekeeping as well as teaching people about the declining numbers of pollinating insects, birds and bats, (including bees) in our ecosystem. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, of the 100 crop varieties that provide 90% of the world’s food, 71 are pollinated by bees – this to say nothing of wild plants.

Benedict balances the frightening statistics and the colony collapse stories by training people to become backyard beekeepers. He reckons beekeeping isn’t hard and with a bit of know-how anyone can do it.

Spring maybe the time to get your beehive, but right now is the time to start learning how to manage your bees so you know what you’re doing when they arrive. 

Benedict runs CERES Bee Group which has hives and extracting equipment on the Brunswick East site.  The Group meets at 10.00am on the 3rd Sunday of every month by the CERES Grocery. 

New members are welcome; just bring long trousers, boots and a long sleeved shirt, some rubber or leather gloves and a narrow brimmed hat (if you don’t live close by here’s a list of beekeeping clubs).

The great thing about joining a bee group is that even if you live somewhere you can’t have bees you can still share a group hive.

And if all that is making you hungry for honey – Benedict’s freshly harvested Fitzroy, Fairfield, Northcote and Thornbury honey is available in the Fair Food webshop.

I want you back…

I have a recurring, dream; it all happens in stop-motion to the soundtrack of the Hoodoo Guru’s, I Want You Back – which clearly had a bigger impact on my young psyche than I initially realised.

It’s night time and emerging from houses and apartments all over the city are Fair Food’s cardboard boxes, eskies and ice bottles joining an ever-growing stream of packaging comrades shuffling through the streets back to the Fair Food warehouse to be reused.  

There are even the claymation plasticine dinosaurs from the original Hoodoo Guru’s video singing the “aaaah aaaah aaaah I Want You Back” backing vocals.  I always wake-up feeling warmly nostalgic and slightly better about my carbon footprint.

I just thought I’d share this with you in case you too share this retro-psychedelic waste minimisation dream .  And if you do – leave your box/esky/ice bottle out for pick-up so they can rejoin their friends and come back home to Fair Food.  

Have a great week



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  1. Hi Chris,
    I am a beekeeper in the south-east suburb of caulfield and was wondering if I could get Benedict Hughes’ email address as I require his advice.
    judy weis