Gift of the Givers and the Knysna Honeybee
With more than 300 beehives having been destroyed in the fires in Greater Knysna, disaster relief organisation Gift of The Givers has commenced the process of rehabilitating the Cape honeybee by sponsoring the setting up of new hive stands, providing pollen and nectar substitutes for feeding in the short term and establishing plants rich in pollen and nectar (such as perennial basil and borage).
Buckets for Bee rehabilitation arrived on June 20 for distribution throughout the area.
Gift of the Givers reported that on June 15 they had already released the first payment of R250 000 towards this project. The Cape honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis) is unique in that it is only found in the fynbos-rich regions of the Western and Eastern Cape and is the only bee in the world that can create a laying worker queen should their queen die by accident or disease.
It has also been proven to be more robust than many other species of bees, seemingly able to resist many of the diseases threatening bees in other parts of the world.
They are an important pollinator of many fynbos species and the devastation in our area has left many of them traumatised and hungry.
Should you be interested in participating in this project, please visit www.giftofthegivers.org.
Most Knysna residents must have seen the green Gift of the Givers trucks that have streamed into town and become a familiar sight outside the Checkers parking lot.
The aid they provide does not just stop at food parcels – as at June 19 they had distributed 5 000 food parcels to individuals and families, provided supplies to various distribution centres and delivered a range of liquids and food items to 1 200 firemen on a daily basis – they also made a R15 000 donation of medical supplies to the Knysna Provincial Hospital, and have been donating pet food and medical supplies to Knysna Animal Welfare Society and other animal shelters in the affected areas.
They have a team of 20 people on the ground, all of whom are being accommodated at the Log Inn at no cost.
They are aware of the desperate need for horse and livestock fodder as a result of the vast tracts of grazing land that have been decimated by the fires in Knysna and surrounds. Farmers in the Free State donated 1 600 bales of fodder to Gift of the Givers, who reported on June 20 that they were providing 25 superlinks to transport the fodder from Hertzogville, Bultfontein, Welkom, Wesselsbron and Ventersburg.