Sting­ing re­buke

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE -

TWO bee­hives ex­ter­mi­nated out­side Polytechnic West have left a lo­cal api­arist con­cerned for the well-be­ing of the en­vi­ron­ment.

A BENT­LEY res­i­dent said she was left shocked and dis­gusted af­ter she stum­bled upon two bee­hives that had been ex­ter­mi­nated, leav­ing thou­sands of dead bees in bushes near Polytechnic West.

Michelle Denise found the bees on her morn­ing walk two weeks ago and said a Polytechnic West staff mem­ber told her the lo­cal coun­cil had ex­ter­mi­nated them.

“I asked a mem­ber of se­cu­rity at Polytechnic West about them and he said he saw Coun­cil come in and spray the hives,” she said.

“When I first saw the hives I con­tacted some­one to come and move them, but other con­sid­er­a­tions seem to have taken prece­dence and the quick­est thing was to just kill them.”

How­ever, a state­ment from the Town of Vic­to­ria Park de­nied any in­volve­ment or knowl­edge of the hives.

“The Town has not un­der­taken or com­mis­sioned, and has no knowl- edge of the ex­ter­mi­na­tion of any bee­hives in the Polytechnic West area,” the state­ment read.

“The Town’s pol­icy is for the hu­mane re­moval of bees when they pose a threat to the com­mu­nity, or a re­quest is re­ceived.”

Wild Honey WA api­arist Carl Maxwell said he was very con­cerned with the ex­ter­mi­na­tion and the sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect it would have on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“When peo­ple call for help they of­ten don’t know that bees are such pre­cious crea­tures, so most of the time they call for pest con­trollers,” Mr Maxwell said.

“Through their pol­li­nat­ing, bees are re­spon­si­ble for 80 per cent of the food we eat. If it wasn’t for them, chick­ens, cows and sheep can’t eat, fruits and veg­eta­bles wouldn’t flour­ish.”

Mr Maxwell said the hives ex­ter­mi­nated and left near Polytechnic West were po­ten­tially threat­en­ing to all bees.

“When bees are sprayed they die and if the hive stays there, it of­ten draws in other bees who might be try­ing to save the honey or the queen,” he said.

“They then pick up the chem­i­cals from the spray and ei­ther die there or go back and in­fect their healthy hives; it creates a domino ef­fect.

“It’s wrong to ex­ter­mi­nate them and way more se­ri­ous than we can imag­ine; they ben­e­fit our eco­log­i­cal so­ci­ety.”

The ex­ter­mi­nated bee­hives have since been re­moved but the ex­ter­mi­na­tor re­mains a mys­tery.

Ms Denise said she had first found the bee­hives about five months ago and had not ex­pe­ri­enced the bees to be a threat.

“My part­ner and I found the two colonies and walked past them ev­ery day; the hives con­tained thou­sands of healthy bees,” she said.

“The ex­ter­mi­na­tion is more than a shame; to me it’s at best neg­li­gence and at worst a crim­i­nal ac­tion.” Visit www. wild­

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d448772

Michelle Denise and Ge­off Bebb are still un­sure who ex­ter­mi­nated two bee­hives near Polytechnic West.

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