Inmates at the West Kimberly Regional Prison have gotten themselves into a sticky situation — but it’s not through misbehaving. The prisoners are learning how to create bee-friendly gardens as part of a TAFE Certificate III in Rural Operations, meaning the facility is now home to 12 hives and more than 400,000 bees. Since starting the program six months ago, prisoners have harvested and bottled about 100 kilograms of honey for their own use. The aim is to eventually supply other prison sites across WA, and within five years be producing about 4000 kilograms a year. Assistant superintendent Leith Thomas has already seen the program reap rewards for the prisoners. “Visual and hands-on learning has proven to be an effective way in building confidence and promoting an interest amongst the prisoners when learning new skills,” she said. “This type of learning makes things more realistic, and prisoners are able to relate these skills to opportunities once released, which can be very rewarding.” The TAFE course can take between six months and two years. The West Kimberley prison also has prisoners participating in a Beginners in Bee Keeping Course. Other WA prisons, including Wooroloo, Karnet and Pardelup also recently started producing honey.