“The honey hunter is a natural born conservationist who gazes at the forest with deference and does not take up a combative stance on it.” That is how the traditional honey hunter is described in the publication Honey Trails in the Blue Mountains. But market pressures and need for money have forced many hunters to overlook or set aside traditional practices that protected bees and ensured sustainability. Keystone’s training over the past two decades has been focused on bringing back these traditional conservation practices and adding hygiene standards to improve quality of honey and sustainability of harvest.
The hunters are for example asked to conserve brood combs as far as possible, as this protects emerging bees and new queens. Conserving brood is a very important practice to sustain bee populations.