Adopt or Sponsor-a-Hive
Adopt-a-Hive … at your property
Castlemaine Bee Sanctuary’s Adopt-a-Hive program allows you to experience all the joys of having honeybees in your garden but without any of the hassle or time investment associated with becoming a beekeeper.
We will place an established European honeybee hive on your property and fully manage all aspects of that hive.
If you are thinking of becoming an apiarist yourself, the Adopt-a-Hive program is a great way to ensure success as a new beekeeper as it allows you to experience first-hand exactly what is involved in beekeeping and pick up tips along the way during hive inspections. However, this is not Private Mentoring. For information on Private Mentoring, please click here.
Honey Is Not Guaranteed
We always stress that honey should not be your the main interest in the Adopt-a-Hive program. Like everything we do at Castlemaine Bee Sanctuary, the bees themselves and their welfare are our main concern – Adopt-a-Hive is about providing a home for pollinators and getting to know the bees, not harvesting honey. Depending on conditions, in some years Hive Hosts may not receive any honey at all.
However, having said that, these are honeybees… and they do make honey. In a good season, there is plenty to share.
If honey is available, Hive Hosts receive the first 3 full deep frames (approximately 6 kilograms) per year of any harvestable honey their hive produces. This honey is provided in the form of raw comb honey straight from the hive. If you would like to process this honey into jars, in the first instance we will be happy to help you with this simple process and loan you the relevant equipment. After this, honey processing is up to you.
Hive Hosts also receive first options on purchasing honey beyond the 3 full deep frames at a heavily discounted rate. Honey must be picked up from Castlemaine. Other products of the hive (propolis, pollen and bee venom) can also be made available but must be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
The cost of ongoing maintenance for this service is $15 per week for non-businesses in the immediate Castlemaine area (3450 postcode) with a once-off Hive Establishment Fee of $300. Our fee for businesses and those outside this area must be discussed.
This service is available at a heavily discounted rate to charities and other worthwhile entities in the immediate Castlemaine area.
Sponsor-a-Hive … at a remote apiary
Sponsor-a-Hive works in the same way as Adopt-a-Hive but instead of placing them at your property, the bees will live in a garden apiary in Castlemaine, Central Victoria and are fully managed by Castlemaine Bee Sanctuary using bee-centred techniques. This allows you to be responsible for the welfare of a honeybee colony (or part of) without any of the hassle or time investment associated with becoming a beekeeper.
You will receive regular updates on the status of your bees, an allocation of honey produced by them (see below) and first options on purchasing more honey at a heavily discounted rate.
The cost for sponsoring a full hive is $10 per week and includes a generous year’s supply (8 kilograms) of honey per year. Honey must be picked up from Castlemaine.
Email or call 0490 399 319 to discuss Castlemaine Bee Sanctuary’s Sponsor-a-Hive program.