The Benedictine Bees

Bees are coming to Jamberoo Abbey!

The Benedictine abbey, located in Illawara sub-tropical rainforest just a short drive from Sydney, has begun to establish an apiary with the help of Beekeeping Naturally. The planned 20 Kenyan Top Bar hives will make it the first commercial Kenyan Top Bar apiary in Australia.

Founding the apiary – which will embrace natural beekeeping methods that focus on the health of the bee colonies over honey production – has been motivated by the abbey residents’ awareness of the demise of bee populations around the world.


“We were inspired by the pope’s latest encyclical on climate change,” said Lee-Ann Wein, a long-term resident of the abbey. “Happy, healthy bees is what we want.”

As well as providing a natural haven for bees to thrive, and honey for the abbey (and perhaps a little to sell to the local community), the apiary will also provide wax to make the candles that help support the abbey.


The venue will also host regular natural beekeeping courses within easy commuting distance of Sydney, spreading the knowledge of natural beekeeping, and further supporting the abbey to do its work in the world.

We are very excited to be partnering with Adrian and Beekeeping Naturally

Lee-Ann Wein

In support of bees and other wildlife, the abbey gardeners have stopped using weed killing chemicals – one of the suspected major causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD) – in their extensive vegetable plots and surrounding gardens.

In an interesting footnote, natural beekeeping already has established links with the Benedictine tradition. Phil Chandler, the ‘Barefoot Beekeeper’ and perhaps Britain’s best known advocate and teacher of natural beekeeping methods, trained in beekeeping at the Buckfast Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Devon, England.

The Jamberoo Abbey provides accommodation for twenty to thirty guests, with 9 hermitages and two cottages – with shared facilities which can accommodate twelve people.

The next natural beekeeping course is on the Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th October.

Find Natural Beekeeping Courses & Workshops Categories: Beekeeping Courses, Colony Collapse Disorder, Kenyan Top Bar Hives, Natural Beekeeping

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