Cockburn Gazette - - OPINION -

IT’S spring­time, a time when birds and bees are hap­pily fly­ing and buzzing about.

I feel com­pelled to write this let­ter, be­ing a en­thu­si­as­tic na­ture lover my­self, as there seems to be a lot of un­nec­es­sary hys­te­ria be­ing cre­ated about swoop­ing birds (mag­pies in par­tic­u­lar) and swarms of bees.

Firstly, with the birds, it’s nest­ing sea­son and they are just do­ing what comes nat­u­rally to them to pro­tect their young.

We as hu­mans would do the same if we felt our chil­dren were be­ing threat­ened.

Se­condly, with the bees, they are swarm­ing at this time of year be­cause it’s how they start new colonies.

Sur­pris­ingly, this is when they are at their most calm and less likely to sting, weighed down with the honey they're car­ry­ing to start a new hive.

Aus­tralia is the last place on earth with a healthy honey bee pop­u­la­tion not af­fected by the dev­as­tat­ing Var­roa mite, a harm­ful pathogen af­fect­ing bee pop­u­la­tions over­seas.

Honey bees play a vi­tal role in the food chain, pol­li­nat­ing most of our food crops we rely on to eat.

With­out them, the world would simply starve to death.

So I am plead­ing with peo­ple to just re­lax and ac­cept that this is na­ture and there re­ally is no need to be afraid.

Re­spect them, keep your dis­tance as much as pos­si­ble, learn to love them and let them bee.

ELISA OS­BORNE, Wan­neroo.

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