By Melissa Sheil
DECORATED apiarist Luke De Laeter will be joining other young activists to speak about environmental issues at Blue Sky Festival this weekend.
Held across two days in Mundaring, the festival focuses on sustainability education with stalls, entertainment and speeches about everything from climate change and birds to electric bikes and bees – Luke’s specialty.
At only 18, he has won the Beazley VET medal, works full time as a commercial beekeeper and operates a business called Buzz Ed Australia through which he runs educational incursions to schools, community groups and festivals like Blue Sky.
“My goal when presenting my incursions is to educate all ages about the importance of bees to the environment and how we can all look after our bee population,” he said.
“Bee’s are crucial to our environment and the biodiversity of Australia.
“One-third of the world’s food supply relies on bees as they pollinate our food.
“We should all be learning workings of a hive and the bee’s role in our lives – which is ultimately allowing us all to receive food on our plates.”
In terms of Blue Sky’s message of sustainability, bees are at the top of the mark.
“Bees are the most sustainable asset I think we have,” he said.
“By helping our bees, we are being sustainable and by being sustainable we are helping our bees.
“Simple ways to achieve both are by creating habitats to support our natural ecosystems, build community and backyard bee habitats, provide water and food sources, and eliminate chemical use.”
Luke will delve further into bee habitats, diseases, communication, native types and honey extraction during his talk on Saturday.
Festival organiser Shane Bailey is excited to hear Luke’s speech.
“Luke’s message aligns very much with the sustainability focus of the festival and embodies this year’s theme of Choosing the Future,” she said.
“Without bees, the environment, home gardens and the agricultural industry would be in massive trouble and the impact on our food supply, catastrophic.”
Blue Sky Festival is a free event held in Mundaring at Hub of the Hills on Saturday and in Sculpture Park on Sunday.