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'The one-stop shop in WA for all things bees’

Date: 18 March 2023

WA Beekeeping Conference Returns in April – meet the Honey Sommelier!

Registrations are now open for recreational and commercial beekeepers to attend the annual. The event is billed as ‘the one-stop shop for all things bees’ in Western Australia.

With over 4,000 recreational and commercial registered beekeepers in WA, the annual Bee Industry Council of WA (BICWA) Conference is an important event sharing best practices and current information about the industry in an approachable format.

This year, one of the highlight speakers is Jess Locarnini from Melbourne.

Jess is one of Australia’s first honey sommeliers. She has travelled the world sharing the language of honey and promoting Australia’s unique honey flavour profiles.

Jess's obsession with honey and bees started at an early age and eventually led her to create Honey Merchant in 2018.

She has trained as a Honey Sommelier with some of the world’s best at the American Honey Tasting Society and the Italian Honey Registrar.

Jess brought these skills home and applies them to Australia’s unique local honey through masterclasses, judging, tasting, menu and food pairing collaborations.

She's keen to share her knowledge with others to inspire a new wave of honey connoisseurs.

Jess is dedicated to celebrating the sensory characteristics of Australian honey to ensure they get the attention they deserve from a local and international audience.

Jess’s presentation will provide a window into the effect of the environment from forest soil types, moisture, and seasonal influences, which create subtle differences in honeys.

There will also be an insight into detecting honey adulteration, which is an increasing problem in the world when marketing speciality honeys.

Jess is a marketing professional working with beekeepers to develop their branding to describe their unique honeys.

This is sure to be a popular segment, and booking tickets to Saturday’s conference early is recommended. There will be limited seats available for Jess’s presentation.

The conference includes a full day of presentations and experiences of beekeepers across the state.

Suitable for people with backyard beehives to those with a few on rural properties, the program is jam-packed with presentations relating to hive management, pests and diseases, extracting honey, and what to do with beeswax and other products.

There is an update from Department Primary Industries, Research & Development that will touch on Western Australia’s strong biosecurity program, and frontline workers will report on lessons learnt from the east coast Varroa mite incursion.

Other practical information like hive designs, food supplements, honey extraction and the replacement of queens will be covered.

There are also light-hearted panel sessions where beekeepers share a wealth of knowledge and tips gleaned from their experiences.

Commercial and medium-sized apiarists are encouraged to attend day one of the conference.

There will be a Better Business panel featuring honey retailers, Industry Better Bees update, hive tracking equipment, the new AFB vaccine and sensor, Anaphylaxis Epipen information and the influence of climate change on flowers.

The conference is on Friday and Saturday 28 & 29 April at the Wilkinson Gallery, Claremont Showgrounds.

For more information on the program and to book tickets, visit:


Christine Spycher:

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