Interview with Russel Zable
As a part of my bee journey I thought it would be nice to interview some of the bee keepers I have met along the way to not only let people learn a little about them but also get maybe some insight into the people who have the same passion and have many unique ideas also. Often people get caught up in who is right and wrong but the reality is that together people learn from each other much more than by themselves.
My first interview was a brief visit with a man called Russel Zable. Russel is a kind man who has been keeping stingless bees for very long time. He has done many things in his time including sending stingless bees to japan, setting up a bee program for indigenous peoples and making his own boxes unique to him.
As I wandered around his property it was good to see the wildlife there. This includes bees in logs and boxes, beautiful trees and plants, birds, chickens and even the most magnificent peacock.
Zable, Dean and I talked about Australis, transfers, pests and much more. I took some photos and emailed him some questions when I got home.
How did you become interested in Stingless bees?
I saw Tim Heard’s newspaper article in our local paper called the “Gatton Star”. I had honey bees before this so it was an easy transition.
Can you think of a memory or story that stands out with your bee keeping?
Living in Aurukun on the Western side of Cape York Peninsular in 2005 to teach the native beekeeping to the indigenous workers.
What type of Stingless bee is your favorite and why?
Carbonaria – they are just so busy and active all day above 18ºC
What things do you like about your box design and what inspirations did you have?
Simple and easy to build. We used Tim Heard’s original design and, over time, modified it to suit mass production.
Why do you believe bees are important?
Great for pollination and wonderful to watch for just the pleasure.
Have you learned something recently about bees that you would wish to share?
Some of our strongest carbonaria could do with a second honey box on top.
Finally what is your one piece of life advice you would share with the world?
Don’t let your mouth (today it is texting it would seem) beat your brain. Think and ponder before making decisions. Time fixes most dilemmas.