Greater Western Water (GWW) is supporting a beehive project in the north-west of Melbourne that creates opportunities for people with diverse abilities, while helping to protect the local bee population.
GWW has teamed up with Distinctive Options (DO), a Sunbury-based not-for-profit organisation supporting people to fulfil their potential and gain equality in their communities. The DO Honey enterprise helps its employees gain the qualifications and skills needed to manage beehives and supply harvested honey to the community.
In October this year, GWW built a dedicated driveway at the Sunbury Recycled Water Plant and five beehives were installed by ten supported Distinctive Options employees. The employees are now undertaking training in apiculture (beekeeping) by local bee educators, Bee Responsible.
With assistance from GWW, DO employees will manage the site through planting and maintenance of a range of indigenous and non-indigenous plants, selected to help the bees thrive.
The project aims to nurture and grow vital bee populations, which have diminished under threats of disease and habitat loss.
The first honey harvest is expected in Autumn 2023. Within five years, the number of hives will increase to 50, yielding an anticipated annual honey production of 1500 litres.
Honey products will feature on the menu of DO Food Project’s café in Gisborne, which is a modern and inclusive gathering space with a focus on tasty, sustainable and nutritious offerings.
The partnership is a living example of GWW’s vision for thriving communities and caring for Country.