Jack Stone spent the best part of four years globe-trotting, working as a picker on organic farms in Southern California and Eastern Europe. Melbourne-born and Canberra-raised, Jack arrived in Brisbane ready to dig his hands into something agriculturally meaningful.
After discovering the global bee crisis affecting farmers and beekeepers, Jack teamed up with friend Katherine Skull to create Bee One Third. The primary goal of this initiative is to educate locals on the importance of helping to preserve the honey bee in urban areas.
What started with one beehive on James Street in 2012 has quickly grown to over 50 beehives in Brisbane and the surrounding areas, including the Gold Coast.
“Absolutely gobsmacked” by the success of the initiative, Jack is passionate about encouraging people to live sustainably in the city and the important role insects play in this.
“One third of our global food supply depends on the essential pollinating role these young ladies play in our ecosystem. We have the bees to thank for one in every three plates of food we eat.” says Jack.
He wants people to realise that our current ideas and stigmas surrounding insects are completely founded on false fears.
“Insects play such a vital role in our ecosystem. Without them, we would not only lose the capacity to efficiently produce food, we would quickly lose the sweet scents of flowers and the coloured natures strips that we all grew up on.”
“Keeping bees is a wonderful way to produce your own food and contribute back to your local environment and ecology.”
Jack believes living a sustainable city life is about making small everyday changes in your lifestyle.
“Trying to understand where your food comes from is an easy and achievable goal. Even the smallest choices in our day-to-day lives have a serious impact on our health and the future wellbeing of this beautiful earth.
“Whether it is growing a portion of your own food in your yard or partnering with like-minded neighbours to share the growing load, there are many alternative ways to live sustainably in this day and age.
If you don’t have the time, space or resources to grow your own fresh produce, Jack says to skip the major supermarkets and pick up your fruit and veg from the local farmers’ markets. His advice: “Ask the person selling you the food where it came from; they should be able to tell you or else don't buy [from them] that time around.” And always “bring your own green bags when you shop”.
Other tips Jack shares on living sustainably include:
1. “Take time to stop and rest, as the key to living sustainably is to appreciate the time at hand. Don’t let time be a stressing contributor.”
2.“Grow your own edibles (even if it's a bunch of kale or some lettuce, super easy!) on your deck or your back garden.”
3.“Don't buy bottled water; buy a filter water bottle that sits in your bag.”
4.“Try to buy recycled products where possible to minimise the amount of plastics and non-biodegradable products we purchase.”
His final piece of advice? “Create your own mould based on who you are and what you love. No one will ever be able to offer what you are capable of providing the world.”
Not only a beekeeper, Jack runs experimental workshops focused on reconnecting people with the source of their food. Bee One Third sells a range of artisan honey products, including honey and combs, at select outlets throughout Brisbane.
To find out more, head to the Bee One Third website.