Pinup abuzz over bees

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - RUBY NYIKA

A lover of all things vin­tage hopes to raise aware­ness about bees with her al­ter ego - Miss Honey Bee.

The Raglan-based beauty is one of 10 fi­nal­ists - and the only Waikato fi­nal­ist - for Miss Pinup New Zealand.

But Emma Pike, 29, hopes the pinup com­pe­ti­tion is a way to high­light the horrors of po­ten­tial honey bee colony col­lapse.

It hits close to home for Pike who has been a bee­keeper with her hus­band for 10 years. To­gether, they own 120 hives. ‘‘One in ev­ery three bites of food you eat - so a third of food - is pol­li­nated by bees. That’s a pretty big hunk of your food.

‘‘[Bees] are just so hard work­ing. They never rest, they don’t sleep. They’re just so in­tel­li­gent,’’ Pike said. ‘‘And they’re all ladies which is awe­some. They kick all the males out most of the time. Girl-power.’’

But thriv­ing wasps, lack of food sources, dis­ease and pes­ti­cides all threaten Pike’s favourite species.

‘‘[Pes­ti­cides] can dam­age the bees brain cells. They pick up the chem­i­cals and they get all fuzzy and they don’t know how to get home so they die.

‘‘I wanted to use the com­pe­ti­tion as a plat­form to help ed­u­cate peo­ple to plant bee-friendly flow­ers, check their gar­den sprays and just sup­port lo­cal bee keep­ers.’’

‘‘We need to un­der­stand that the bees are af­fected by the en­vi­ron­ment.‘‘

Miss Pinup New Zealand is part of The Very Vin­tage Day Out, an an­nual vin­tage fes­ti­val held in Auck­land on Oc­to­ber 28 and 29.

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