Kingaroy markets show off a sweet hobby
HOBBIES don't always have to revolve around art or sports.
Especially for Kumbia local Joe Brown, who is a frequent stall holder at the Kingaroy markets.
Farming honey has been Mr Brown's hobby and passion for years, and it all started with the mentorship of a friend.
"I've been doing it for about 28 years. I had an old friend who helped me start, and I learnt a lot off him before he passed away. I've been selling at the markets since I retired," he said.
"We didn't have any plastic jars to sell the honey in when I first started playing around with it. We'd be using water billies and old glass bottles, or customers would give us big cream buckets."
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After learning some tricks of the trade, Mr Brown volunteered to handle bees as often as he could.
"I used to play with bees a bit before I retired. People often want to get rid of trees for cultivation, but if the tree had bees in it, they didn't know how to deal with it," he said.
"I'd always go help, get some honey, and most of the time get some bees too. I've gotten bees from a lot of places."
When people think of bees, they often affiliate them with bee stings, but Mr Brown is lucky in that department.
"I get stung often, that's for sure, but I only feel it for about 10 minutes. The doctor likes to joke and tells me I must have a different kind of blood. It's definitely lucky for the industry," he said.
Despite the occupational hazard, Mr Brown loves what he does, whether he makes money from it or not.
"I don't sell a lot, if I'm honest, but I'm on a pension so I have to be careful. My son has also joined in now, so while splitting the profits, I don't get much at all," he said.
"I don't mind, because I only started it as a hobby any ways. I also don't do markets for a living, I just like the talking and community environment."
Mr Brown also enjoys doing his part in showcasing Kumbia and its local produce.
"It's always good to be promoting Kumbia and what we have to offer there. The local service station gets all his honey off me, too, so he advertises it for me, and that's really nice," he said.