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  • Writer's pictureKate Stark

Bush Kids Honey

Bush Kids Honey participants Martin and Marieke Best, Venus Bay, Bonnie Morris, Thurlga Station, and Eli Cuffe, Siam, gather around the Flow Hive. Picture supplied


THE South Australia Isolated Children's Parents' Association is celebrating this month after the successful first harvest from their 'Bush Kids Honey' project.

Awarded more than $19,000 in 2021 from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal to kick off the initiative, 12 Port Augusta School of the Air families received their own Flow Hive - a world famous beehive designed by Northern Rivers-based father and son duo Stuart and Cedar Anderson. After patiently waiting for more than 12 months for their bees to settle in, the first honey from Thurlga Station's hive was collected.

Katrina and Ian Morris said they were excited to help their daughter Bonnie, 8, harvest 10kg of honey, which was jarred and sold at the Nonning Gymkhana on May 20, with interested locals picking up a jar or two.

"People see the 'Bush Kids Honey' and they ask about it so I don't think we're going to have any trouble selling it," Ian said.

"The idea is, eventually, every station will have their own honey with a label, a little bit about where it's come from and the kids who have produced it."

Accessing a diverse variety of native floral resources in the Gawler Ranges, including Acacia and Mallee, Ian said the bees at Thurlga Station were on track to produce upward of 20kg per year.

Created as a way to involve children from SA stations in Port Augusta branch fundraising efforts, the Bush Kids Honey project is already off to a sweet success.

"We're always looking for ways to generate some income or fundraisers [and] I saw the Flow Hives and I thought that was a good idea," he said. "I thought it made the whole process look quite easy as far as extracting the honey from the hives and then we ended up getting funding through FRRR."

Ian said the main aim of the project is to get all 12 hives established and producing honey with the branch preparing to apply for further grant funding in order to establish a website and online shop.

"Honey doesn't go off so we can just keep producing it and storing it - so the idea is to extract the honey and then the kids can learn about the marketing, packaging and being involved in the sale of it."

Kat Morris said the project was also an important opportunity for the children involved to access equitable educational activities. "All the money we make [from the honey] goes toward the kid's education and helping to make sure they get the same things as their city cousins," she said. "If it takes off and it's successful then it might be something that other branches can get involved in."

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*First published June 2023 for Stock Journal - owned by Australian Community Media.

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