Could bee big break

Coffs Harbour?s bee keeper, William Archer, has won $25,000
Coffs Harbour?s bee keeper, William Archer, has won $25,000

A LIFETIME fascination with native bees has led Coffs Harbour's William Archer to bag $25,000 and now you can help him double that figure. Mr Archer, 23, has been named a finalist in the Nescafe Big Break program, which aims to help young people get their dreams and ambitions off the ground. Mr Archer won the cash grant to commercially sell Australian stingless bee hives and the honey they produce. "Native bees have always been a fascination to me ever since I was a kid. They are so amazing, interesting and industrious," he said. The little-known native bee is only four millimetres long and has no sting. The honey it produces is said to have medicinal properties and has been utilised by the Aborigines for thousands of years. "Native bees have not been used commercially because they build their nests differently to normal bees and it's not as easy to extract honey," Mr Archer said. To overcome this, Mr Archer designed a nest to keep stingless bees that does not require any maintenance and from which honey is easily removed. "People can use the hives in their backyard for pollinating their veggie patch or can just keep them as fascinating pets," he said. Building on his initial idea, Mr Archer also plans to hire out the nests to farmers to cross-pollinate their crops. One of 4400 young people from across Australia and New Zealand who entered Nescafe Big Break this year, Mr Archer is just one of six major prize winners, who won $25,000 to kick start their dream and ambitions. From today, the Coffs Coast community can get behind Mr Archer and vote. The six $25,000 winners will each have a chance to double their money in an online voting campaign, where the public votes for which idea they think is best. The winner takes home $50,000. To vote go to: Voting closes October 21.

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