To bee or not to bee: Just one of the questions on World Bee Day

On World Bee Day, as guests of Bunnings Coffs Harbour, members of different beekeeping clubs representing both European Honeybees as well as Native Stingless Bees shared knowledge and tips on all things bees.

A BUZZY, busy day at Bunnings Coffs Harbour on Saturday 20 May saw local beekeepers from the Mid North Coast Amateur Beekeeping Club and the Coffs Harbour Branch of the Australian Native Bee Association mark World Bee Day with an interactive, educational stall.

The beekeepers were invited to set up an informative display and engage with the general public around actions that they can take to promote bee health and encourage pollinators in their backyards, and to learn more about whether to take on beekeeping as a hobby, and/or join a local club to participate in a range of bee-related activities.

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Monica and Alison (members of both clubs) and Elaine (who is a member of the native bee club) were keen to discuss all things bee with enthusiastic members of the public.

Centre stage of their activation was a beautiful frame of honeycomb provided by bee supply officer, Don, alongside a recently acquired model of the lifecycle of the honeybee.

Through the Amateur Beekeepers’ Association (ABA), Monica was successful in obtaining a grant to be used for educational resources, and this metre long three-dimensional model is the first resource purchased with that grant money.

“It was a real conversation starter,” Monica and Alison told News Of The Area.

“It shows the beekeeper’s eye view looking into the cells from above as well as a cross sectional view of the developing bee from egg to larvae to pupae to emerging worker bee.”

Also of interest was a beautiful poster showcasing some of the native bees of NSW.

“People are often surprised to see how many there are that can be spotted in their own gardens.

“It was lovely to engage with lots of youngsters who were well informed about all kinds of bees and had been learning about bees in their educational settings.

“Many people were excited to describe a bee that they had seen in the pursuit of an identification from us,” they said.

“Members of the public were also keen to share their experiences which ranged from precious memories of beehives in their childhood gardens through to questions around splitting their native beehives for the first time.”

Many were also aware of the current varroa mite incursion and measures in place to eradicate the mite and had questions and concerns that they were keen to chat about.

The beekeepers urged anyone seeking updates about the varroa mite regulations to contact the Department of Primary Industry’s website.

Club members also got into conversations with several keen prospective beginner beekeepers who had questions about getting started in beekeeping.

“We look forward to welcoming them at future club meetings and events,” said Monica and Alison.

“Many thanks to Bunnings for the invitation and the wonderful activities they ran for the youngsters which included making native bee hotels and bee tattoos.

“It was great to see Bunnings staff members in bee costumes and exchanging funny bee puns,” they said.

For new member enquiries see Mid North Coast Amateur Beekeepers Association Inc. and/or ANBA Coffs Harbour Native Bees on Facebook.


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