Intrinsically connected with nature, pausing for all the glorious moments, breathing the slow still air in their new cabin space in Northern NSW. This humble chat with Hayley, owner of Settler Hives, had us all yearning for some quaint gardening and to plant our feet on deep lush grass, while sipping a chamomile tea with local honey.
What started as a hobby in a humorous and laughable manner slowly turned this passionate couple into bee keeping gurus, carrying a love for the land like no other.
Their mantra of ‘saviour life outdoors… feed your soul, eyes and colony’, took us on a journey into the garden to get us planting for the bees.
“When it became known to the world the importance of bees and that 1/3 of the food on our plate is pollinated by them, Roger used this to persuasively convince me to finally say yes to getting a couple of bee hives.
“One day he said to me, ‘you know there is a colony collapse happening in the world hey?!’ We were at a stage that we were also looking for something we could do outside together. I was pregnant with Scarlett and knew our weekends of mountainous hikes would have to wait that summer with a newborn.” Hayley said.
Hayley and Roger found themselves spending six months and any spare time researching bee keeping and what was involved.
“Settler Hives started out as just an Instagram account to show our friends and family our hilarious amateur attempt of beekeeping. We got our first beehives when we were living in a barn on a blueberry field in Canada and just loved the whole experience of it.
“Not wanting to be commercial beekeepers (which needs a lot of kilometres, heaps of time and tolerance for high losses), we kept brainstorming what we could do to help the whole ‘loss of pollinator’ scenario. There is an occurrence called Colony Collapse Disorder, which is where the honey bees of a particular colony simply disappear and no one fully knows why.
“A year after getting our backyard bees (and over many beer and coffee conversations on what our next movements could be), we were in the car and I turned to Roger and said ‘SEEDS! To feed the bees’. We instantly knew that this was going to be our way to help the planet, and our future generations.”
Three years on and this magical (childhood sweetheart) couple get to live their dream, working with nature. Having recently moved to a tiny cabin in Northern NSW, all the whilst keeping their stunning Grenier Street Airbnb cottage in Toowoomba (where they have their honey available on tap at a local cafe). The word minimalist lifestyle and community spirit, reigns supreme. We are transported into the simpler way of life and what we can all do to help save our bees.
“We are here to let everyone know that you don’t have to be experts in gardening to experiment with planting. You don’t have to have a big outdoor area and you don’t have to research for months. You literally need some good soil, or some pots with soil and a packet of seeds. Sprinkle them, give them lots of water, sunshine and love. THAT’S IT.
It’s all about trial and error. You are going to get some right and some not right and that’s ok.
“Now we don’t just keep bees, we feed them! We want to create feel-good products that benefit our surroundings and help shape a positive culture of getting outside ~ all with flowers, herbs and garden greens sourced from the best seed houses in the world.”
To get planting and feed the bees be sure to order your box of seeds from Hayley and Roger at Settler Hives.
By Erin Pyers
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