Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Beekeeping Today Podcast

Aug 10, 2020

SimeonIn this episode, Kirsten chats with commercial beekeeper Simeon Valkenburg, who runs a commercial operation with his brother in Australia. He talks about building up their commercial operation from scratch. They started with one hive and are now up to about 1,000 hives in south east Australia.

The season kicks off with almond pollination. Yes, that’s right—Australian almonds which bloom in August. They then move colonies into crops like canola or beans or move into areas flush with a low desert eucalypt, which under the right weather Australiaconditions can produce a huge honey harvest. In their summer they chase after pollen, not for trapping, but simply for building up the bees or running from bushfires. The conversation ranges widely, discussing everything from ornery beekeepers with deep political connections to conducting successful field days and the trade war with New Zealand over the name ‘manuka’. Tune in to learn more about keeping bees downunder.

UPDATED - Aug. 14

The report Simeon referenced in his talk with Kirsten is by Oregon beekeeper, Katharina Davitt: "Cavendish Bananas and their Nutritional Benefit to Honey Bees"

The report's author has the same information in a PowerPoint .pdf here:


Kirsten's interviews are brought to you by BetterBeeBetterBee. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. How do they do this? Because many of their employees are also beekeepers, so they know the needs, challenges and answers to your beekeeping questions. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode! 

2 Million BlossomsWe want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a new quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

Thank you for listening! 

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"