Bee aware to sur­vive

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Robyn Gul­liver Robyn Gul­liver is the pro­gram di­rec­tor of Kar­ratha En­viro Group.

This week at the Kar­ratha Com­mu­nity Gar­den, vol­un­teers and visi­tors were treated to an im­promptu honey-mak­ing demon­stra­tion.

For many in the au­di­ence this was the first time they had seen honey col­lec­tion and ex­trac­tion in ac­tion, and they were re­warded with a pot of gold.

Aus­tralia has more than 1500 species of na­tive bees, with about 800 species found only in WA.

In Kar­ratha the arid en­vi­ron­ment makes it dif­fi­cult for bees to adapt and sur­vive.

Yet the ever-elu­sive lo­cal bees con­tinue to work their magic in the Pil­bara en­vi­ron­ment, pri­mar­ily through pol­li­na­tion rather than pro­duc­tion of honey.

With a lit­tle care and equip­ment it is also pos­si­ble to sup­port honey bees in Kar­ratha.

While a per­mit is needed to main­tain a hive in the town­sites, the equip­ment demon­strated at the com­mu­nity gar­den was sim­ple.

A hand-cranked cylin­der re­moved the liq­uid honey from the trays af­ter the wax was re­moved, and grav­ity drew the honey down the cylin­der’s sides to a tap, de­liv­er­ing a stream of aro­matic honey into wait­ing cups.

Bees are cru­cial to the world’s food sup­ply with 70 per cent of the global hor­ti­cul­tural and agri­cul­tural crops re­ly­ing on them for pol­li­na­tion. Yet it is es­ti­mated that more than 50 per cent of the world’s bee pop­u­la­tion has died, pri­mar­ily be­cause of the Var­roa mite.

Re­cent re­search sug­gests that the de­cline in num­bers could also be caused by the use of neon­i­coti­noid pes­ti­cides.

It is hoped that through demon­stra­tions such as these the com­mu­nity learns more about the “eco-sys­tem ser­vices” de­liv­ered by hard work­ers such as bees.

Pic­ture: Robyn Gul­liver

The Kar­ratha Com­mu­nity Gar­den vol­un­teers and visi­tors were treated to an im­promptu honey-mak­ing demon­stra­tion by a lo­cal bee­keeper last week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.