Bee Loving Family Work to Empower Bees and Companies

Shane and his dad Malcolm Duthie started a sustainable bee removal company to save bees found at big businesses; they are changing how companies view pests.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (30 June 2022) – Father-son beekeeping duo Shane and Malcolm Duthie have been working with bees for decades. When Shane got home from a gap year, he was encouraged to start beekeeping full time, but he wanted to do it sustainably.

Shane and Malcolm agreed that the environment and animals were a top priority in their business practice and started from there. Sadly, many bee removal companies do not save the bees; instead, they will fumigate the entire hive and then leave. This practice is proving detrimental to bees around the world.

At first, it took time for Shane to get clients to understand the importance of proper, ethical bee removals, but as he educated people, more people signed off on his company, and so the business grew.

“We began doing bee removals with emphasis placed on removing and rehoming the swarm into our beehives instead of killing and fumigating them – mostly in the domestic sector.

We started with servicing domestic clients’ needs and paired the removals with education about bees, their importance and just how much they do for the environment. We also started doing educational talks at schools.

This exposure led to a lot of pest control companies reaching out to us to help them with the safe and sustainable removal and rehoming of bees.

We have worked for these companies on massive sites and the experience has been amazing seeing places like power stations, factories and all other sorts.”

Shane and his father have become a reliable duo for sustainable removals and practices. However, their efforts didn’t stop there. Many of the large clients they have worked with have ample space, and with a need for more bees and protected areas, they started placing hives on these big properties.

“The other side of what we do is the sustainability initiatives, the bee sanctuaries. We were approached by a few companies to set up apiaries (bee farms) on their sites and we have done so. By providing these sites, the bees are given a home to live, prosper and repopulate. So these strong and secure apiaries act as a breeding ground for bees to repopulate the surrounding area. The clients love the sanctuaries because the bees will strengthen the biodiversity of the surrounding forestry as well as make for a great visual commitment to sustainability and of course, has its marketing purposes for them too.”

Naturally, working in the bee removal sector, they were often called to remove other pests. The “culture of conservation” was growing, and it has blossomed into a new sector of business for Shane and Malcolm.

“As our relations grew closer with these companies and they began to buy into our way of doing things, they started asking us for assistance with other animals they would rather save than kill such as wasps, snakes, feral cats, dassies and reptiles. This was massive for me because it showed that by giving them a choice, they would opt for the conservation option.”

In making sure the organisations working with these animals are supported, Shane partners with them to remove and care for the animals, donating towards their contribution of expertise and expense for assisting in any rescues. His most significant partner is the Wild Onez NPC, which is run by Julian Wilder, an expert in reptiles.

“I referred them to a few people but due to their supplier requirements these experts couldn’t work with them. So we started the sustainable pest control consulting arm which made us the sustainable pest control partners that we are today. We use our wide variety of NPC partnerships to allow NPC’s to work with these big companies and we make donations to them on every job completed. It’s a win-win for us because we can help our clients, the clients win because they are saving the animals with experts, and the NPCs win because they are doing great work and we make donations to them.”

Shane hopes that continued good practices and education will lead to a more sustainable pest management and removals industry.

“We are slowly but surely making the pest control industry more sustainable and by providing the sales teams at these companies with the option to rather save the animal, they are more inclined to use us than to just resort to senselessly killing the animal.”

“The pest control industry and particularly the people who kill bees are detrimental to the environment and future sustainability of the ecosystem. The declining number of insects as well is also very very concerning. Mainly due to pesticides. The biggest reason for the decline of the bee populations is pesticides, climate change and habitat loss – so humans are definitely to blame.”

Progress is being made day by day. Businesses are more inclined to listen to people when the subject of sustainability is brought up. Before, Shane was laughed out of boardrooms, but today, he is in talks with a Corporate Social responsibility firm about piloting a few beekeeping projects around Johannesburg. Businesses are starting to see the bigger picture.

His idea is to not only help the bees but also hopefully provide more jobs. If you would like to learn more about sustainable bee removals, check out Shane’s Facebook page Bee Kulture here.


Sources: GTG Interview
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Bee Loving Family Work to Empower Bees and Companies