Abuzz about bees

September is Bee Aware Month, an initiative from the National Beekeepers’ Association that aims to educate us on the importance of bees to our livelihood, environment and economy.

Cover of Bees in the cityTwo thirds of the food that we eat is pollinated by bees so without them we will be in trouble. As September is the beginning of Spring it’s a great time to plan what you’ll be doing in with your garden over the warmer months. This year’s theme is “feed the bees” so now would be a great time for gardeners to consider adding “bee-friendly” plants to their property, if not an actual hive.

And don’t be fooled into thinking that if you live centrally there’s not much point in having plants that bees like. There are “urban bees” in Christchurch (and most cities). For instance, did you know there’s a hive on the roof of C1 espresso? Honey bees can travel several kilometres to find nectar producing flowers so even if there are no hives on your block, your potted lavender may still be visited by a bee (or several).

Cover of Backyard beesIf you’re keen, to either make your garden a bee-haven or maybe get a hive yourself, or even just rent one, you might want to have a look at –

Bee Aware Month

My neighbours are doing it. Michelle Obama is doing it. They’re keeping bees! The National Beekeepers’ Association of New Zealand is highlighting the importance of bees, and this month is Bee Aware Month.

Bees around the world are in trouble. A world without bees would be a very bleak place indeed. Much of our food depends on pollination by bees as do our gardens and a lot of other products we rely on. Over $5 billion of New Zealand’s agricultural exports also depend on bees. Bee numbers worldwide are in decline and we must do all that we can to save them before it’s too late.

Cover of Practical Beekeeping in New ZealandSo how can you help? Easy ways you can give these hardworkers a happy life include planting bee friendly plants, and being careful when using pesticides in your garden, or better still stopping using them altogether.

You could also start your own hive. The Beekeepers’ Association has helpful information, and in Christchurch you can now rent a hive and have someone else come and do all the work for you. The library of course has a large number of beekeeping titles that will help make your garden and your hive a bee mecca.

Don’t forget also to check CINCH for contact details of beekeeping clubs.