The Big Bee in Kingscote, South Australia

the big bee
The Big Bee in Kingscote (Sources: Creative Commons)

About the big bee

The Big Bee sits outside Island Beehive, off Playford Highway in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Island Beehive is an organic honey processing company owned by Peter David. 

The company produces honey from the purest strain of Ligurian bees in the world, found on Kangaroo Island. The unfiltered and raw honey aside, the company also offers personalized tours for visitors who would love to learn a thing or two about Ligurian bees and bee-farming in general. 

The 20-minute tours are held at 1 PM daily and booked in advance. The facility also accommodates tours for large groups, which cost $6 for adults and $5 for children. Visitors are introduced to a plethora of honey-based products during the tour and the opportunity to purchase authentic raw and unfiltered honey. 

The Ligurian bee sculpture was constructed to celebrate the island’s bee-farming culture. Kangaroo Island is home to the world’s only pure-bred and disease-free population of this kind of bee. 

Exporting pure-breed queen bees is also another lucrative business on this island. As a result, there are significant quarantine restrictions on bringing bee products and equipment on Kangaroo Island. 

More about the Ligurian bee

Also known as the Italian bee, this subspecies of the western honeybee is believed to have originated from the continental part of Italy, north of Sicily, and south of the Alps. They are also believed to have survived the last Ice Age in Italy. 

This species of bee has some unique traits that make them stand out. Here are some notable few. 

Ligurian bees have excellent breeding capabilities. They multiply rapidly, thus increasing the production of honey. 

Given that they have a solid reputation for resisting diseases, scientists believe that it is because of their excellent cleaning capabilities. These bees are known to keep their hives (and general surroundings) clean. 

Ligurian bees are also excellent foragers, which makes them relatively easy to maintain. While most bees are known to be aggressive with their sting, Ligurian bees are quite gentle. Besides, they do not swarm as most bees would.

Things to do at Kangaroo Island

If you are planning a trip to Kangaroo Island to see the Big Bee in Kingscote, you’ll be glad to discover that there are many other fun things to do in this part of Australia. Below are some good recommendations. 

The Seal Bay Conservation Park is a great place to start. Here, you’ll enjoy ranger-guided walks among the famous Australian sea lions. You may also visit the Flinders Chase National park, which features the famous Remarkable Rocks, Admiral’s Arch, and walking trails, camping areas, and so much more!

Other places worth visiting include the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, Murray Lagoon, Kelly Hill Caves, Little Sahara, Cape Willoughby, Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre, Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, and Raptor Domain.

Kangaroo Island is one of the most visited places in the southern part of Australia, attracting over 140,000 visitors every year. Approximately 25% of the visitors come from Europe; in 2017, the visitor expenditure at the island had reached $123 million. 

If you loved reading about the Big Bee in Kingscote, check out other Big Things in South Australia

If you are interested in any big things merchandise take a look at our store which features a number of big things inspired products that we think you will love!

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