So, a couple of weeks ago, I attended this fantastic boutique market where the founder of Bee One Third - Brisbane's urban beekeeping pioneers - was speaking. "We activate rooftops, backyards and community spaces to engage the local ecology in pollination through placing our European beehives throughout the neighborhoods of Brisbane."
His talk was so interesting that I started reading on the value of bees in urban locations... in fact, I started hearing about bees at least once a day. Seriously. Everybody is talking or posting about bees. From social media, to school books, to radio stations, parents meetings, local markets, international climate forums etc. Could be I wasn't really paying attention to the bees, until someone stood in front of me and told me me why I needed them in my life?
Image from FB https://www.facebook.com/mamavation
WHY BEES ARE AWESOME
We all know they pollinate flowers and in the most basic terms, flowers give us fruit and veg along with many other amazing facts:
A worker bee can visit 2,000 flowers per day - that's a lot of flowers!
Honey bees maintain a constant temperature of about 93º F within the hive year-round - temperature shifts, mean the bees move; longer term temperature shifts mean they don't come back.
A single honey bee worker produces about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime - so expect over 60000 bees per hive... with one Queen Bee... but let's face it, she's got a pretty hectic job, laying on average a million eggs in her life time.
Australian native bees don't sting!
European bees produce more honey than native bees; one of the reasons being, European bees can reach "... 4.5km further than native stingless bees, and are able to pollinate more of Brisbane's diverse plant-life. Their honey production is also far greater than that of stingless bees..."
That's not to say you wouldn't have honey if you had access to, or owned a hive of stingless bees in your garden/ on your street. etc. My street has about four hives along it, all with bright and cheery signs saying 'they don't sting'...
I love the buzz of bees too - insects in general. Visiting Mexico two years ago, I couldn't help but put my ear to the ground of the old ruins and listen to the sounds of millions of small bees working tirelessly to keep the queen and the hive going. Another story in there, I'm sure.
I do read articles/listen to people who twist their lips at the concept of 'no bees no food' - environmental issues in general... there will always be fruit and veg, and food for all etc. Yes yes, but perhaps if we focused more on what we could do to make even the smallest difference, then it wouldn't seem like such a 'task' if we all pitched in... save the bees I say... for all the skeptics out there, feel free to keep the GM trade going...
We all love honey! Buy or make your own... get involved
Visit the Bee One Third website for more info: http://www.beeonethird.com/faq/
It's Done! And for a good PURPOSE too!
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Tanya is a traditional and digital artist, living in Brisbane and inspired by all that is 'Art'.