SWEET PASTIME: Ekka regular Neil Masters grows honey and makes bee hive products.
SWEET PASTIME: Ekka regular Neil Masters grows honey and makes bee hive products. Sherele Moody

Neil gets buzzy at the Ekka

WARWICK honey grower Neil Masters is very buzzy at the Ekka this week.

The 62-year-old is part of a small team of apiarists helping educate city slickers about the importance of bees to the environment.

Taking time out from volunteering at the Queensland Beekeepers' Association's honey stall, Mr Masters said it was vital for everyone to know where the product comes from.

"There is fair bit of work involved in producing honey," he said.

"You've got to be pretty good at bee husbandry.

"There's a lot of travelling - our furtherest beehive is about 1000km away."

Mr Masters has about 700 hives producing up to 72 tonnes of honey a year, with most of it going to Capilano.

His family's business also creates products for the industry including bee-keeping equipment like boxes and frames.

"I don't know why I do it," Mr Masters said.

"I guess it's just something that gets into your blood and you keep at it."

While keeping bees can be rewarding, there is a negative that tends to take the buzz out of every apiarist's experience.

"Some days you go out and get a few stings and other days you go out and you don't get any," Mr Masters said.

"It still hurts but you get a bit of immunity over time so you don't swell as much."

Entries for the Ekka's Apiculture Competition can be viewed at the Queensland Beekeepers' Association's display and product stall in the Agricultural Hall.

There are also apiary demonstrations throughout the day.

- NewsRegional

News Corp Australia

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