Amanda Cunningham - true honey co. beekeeper
She’s a bit of a character is True Honey Co. beekeeper Amanda Cunningham. The daughter of ‘Flash’ – another invaluable member of the True Team – she’s inherited her dad’s incredible work ethic and sense of humour. And did we mention she loves a yarn? We caught up with her for a quick Q&A among the business and buzziness of the Manuka honey harvest.
How long have you been a beekeeper with The True Honey Co.?
About a year now, but I’ve been working in the Manuka honey industry for a few years.
What was it about beekeeping that made you choose it for a career?
Bees are amazing creatures and I have so much respect for them. They help sustain life as we know it.
What’s it like for a woman in this industry – are there many women beekeepers?
Personally I don’t let my gender define me. I like to push gender boundaries. I’ve just been a groomswoman at a wedding. There aren’t really too many of us (female beekeepers, that is). But we are out there.
Please take us through a typical workday?
This is hard, because as a beekeeper there’s no such thing as a typical workday. Each new season brings with it different tasks to achieve within the hive. Today, we head to the shed, fill our syrup tank up on the ute, grab some propolis mats and head around some sites to feed hives and place mats. We want to make sure we have good food stores in the hive before winter.
Describe your favourite spot for placing hives?
It’s very picturesque (and a bit of a secret). If you’re there at the right time you may even hear a stag roar.
What do you love most about your job?
The many opportunities that arise. There is a lot of variety – from helicopter work to transporting hives, to checking hives, and gear maintenance.
What has observing bees taught you about life?
Work hard in the short time you have and if you’re lucky enough you will get a good crop!
What does it take to succeed in this industry?
Hard work, determination and a good attitude.
How do you have your honey?
My favourite way is in a smoothie – Manuka honey, banana, yoghurt, ice, and vanilla ice cream.