The urban beekeeping business recruiting the Stonnington community

Published on 04 November 2021

Two beekeepers accessing a bee hive

There’s something particular about the bees of Stonnington. Whether they’re hiding away in local backyards down in Malvern or buzzing around in the Windsor Community Gardens, the bees are onto something sweet. With the help of Backyard Honey beekeepers, Stonnington’s local bee population continues to grow, pollinating our lush gardens and producing a sweet all-natural honey that is selling out on shelves.

What was originally started as a hobby by Jane and Peter Dyer, Backyard Honey flourished into an urban beekeeping business, helping locals enjoy having bee hives in their yards and educating our community on the importance of bees. Now eight years later, Jane and Peter have handed over the business to a new generation of beekeepers, Mary Trumble and Henry Fried.

Today, Mary and Henry, both local to Prahran, have grown the business with over 40 local hives in Stonnington. “I think the lockdown really changed our perspective on everything. We became a lot more closely tied to our community. We wanted to roll our sleeves up and view our impact on the community differently.” says Mary.

Two beekeepers, a man and a woman standing next to eachother

Mary Trumble and Henry Fried of Backyard Honey

After months at home in Melbourne’s lockdown last year, Mary and Henry’s career sabbatical that they had once dreamed of as an international hurrah, had now transformed into the opportunity to run Backyard Honey. With no prior experience, the young couple have shown that anyone no matter their age or experience can get involved in beekeeping.

Making the process as accessible as possible, Backyard Honey’s hive hosting program allows locals to enjoy all the benefits of having a hive, expertly maintained by the Backyard Honey Beekeepers - most of whom are young adults with intent to inspire the next generation of beekeepers. At the end of the season, hive hosts are given ten kilos of delicious, liquid gold honey to enjoy.

“We wait until the last moment possible before we take the honey away and extract it. That gives the bees the most amount of time to put all their nectar into the hive … and because they're static hives the bees are happier and when the bees are happier they produce higher quality honey.” says Mary.

Bees

With honey sourced from hives in Toorak, Malvern and Malvern East, the couple stocks their jars of pure honey in local grocers like Stocked Food Store, Whisked and Baker Bleu. “Our point of difference is we have static hives, so we leave a hive in a backyard and when we extract the honey at the end of the year, the honey will taste and look different in colour based on the flowers within a two to four kilometre radius of the hive.” Mary says.

“Some areas produce a really dark honey but the next year they might produce a golden honey because it depends on which flowers the bees choose to go to.”

With word spreading on Backyard Honey’s raw Australian honey, this is the first year that they have nearly sold out of their jars. With demand showing no sign of slowing, these limited edition batches rely on the local hives that thrive amongst Stonnington’s lush gardens. 

Whilst Backyard Honey will continue to make their delicious local honey, Mary and Henry are also involved in the protection of bees and hope to bring more awareness and education to the pivotal role bees play in our local ecosystem. From planting a bee friendly garden to hosting your own hive, there’s so many ways to get involved with Backyard Honey and make a difference.

To purchase Australian honey from Backyard Honey or host a bee hive in your backyard, visit backyardhoney.com.au

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