Our Mentors

Learn, Contribute, Grow

Hive Buddy is host to amazing mentors with experience in beekeeping and a passion to see others grow and learn. Many of our mentors are focussed on supporting new beekeepers however there are some who offer mentorship programs for intermediate to advanced beekeeping skills.

Carmel Gerdsen

Carmel Gerdsen

Carmel discovered bees in her bungalow wall back in 2012. This spurred an immediate desire to take care of them (once removed from the wall of course) and began her journey with beekeeping. Carmel is keen to share what she has learnt along the way including her many stumbles.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

Michael lives in The Basin, Victoria and has a passion for growing as many edible plants on his quarter acre block as possible. He started beekeeping 10 years ago after being sick of hand pollinating his fruit and veggies in his backyard and bees were the answer.

Darryl Ryan

Darryl Ryan

Darryl has a lifelong love of bees and the scars to prove it. He has a keen interest in supporting new beekeepers and is well known in the beekeeping community both in Australia and abroad.

Ben Moore

Ben Moore

Ben is an apiarist, environmentalist, father, food-lover and owner of Ben’s Bees. From cheffing in Australia’s finest restaurants, to running a successful company with a focus on ethical beekeeping practices, Ben has a sincere appreciation for holistic approaches to health and wellbeing.

Vanessa Hoo

Vanessa Hoo

Vanessa is a second generation beekeeper, whose father used to be a French commercial apiarist, with a driving passion for bees. Vanessa is a mother of two girls, a fervant gardener and very active in the outdoors.

Caroline Hammond

Caroline Hammond

Caroline has a love for creating a sustainable future which sees her working with likeminded people throughout the West Gippsland region. Not only has she found a passion for bees and beekeeping, but for the very meaning that beekeeping gives to her everyday life.

Jess Locarnini

Jess Locarnini

As a Honey Sommelier, Jess works closely with beekeepers, chefs, foodies and other honey connoisseurs to identify unique characteristics of Australian honey. Over the last few years Jess has run virtual and face to face educational sessions with beekeeping clubs and foodies across Australia.

Mark Beaton

Mark Beaton

Mark has been a beekeeper for 6 years. It all started with one hive and grew it into a small boutique honey business. Mark currently runs 50 bee hives and spends his weekends selling honey at the market. Mark has a real passion for bees and helping people on their journey.