Many Australians entertain romantic notions about European honey bees, admiring them as little helpers that toil away to provide honey and pollinate our crops. This romance hinders awareness of the environmental harms they cause. Native stingless bees are more deserving of our affections “and not only because they don’t sting” extract from Foreword by Tim Low biologist and author from The Australian Native Bee Book by Tim Heard.
Native bee hives are beginning to appear in the suburbs of Sydney’s Northern Beaches in a big way. Peter Clarke at Ku-rin-gai Council initiated a Native Bee Program Wild Things that inspired local resident and Permaculture Northern Beaches committee member Dan Smailes to start a local program of his own. Fast forward three years and Dan set up Sydney Native Bees.
Dubbed ‘Dan the Bee Man’, I haven’t met anyone with as much passion for these important insects as Dan. His passion peaks when he talks about the 5 hives purchased with grant money from local council in partnership with Permaculture Northern Beaches. ‘By the time my daughter is in year 6 (4 years from now) those 5 hives will have become 160’. He is passionate about supporting biodiversity and enjoys observing the complex simplicity between natural environments and creatures that inhabit it. This fascinates and drives Dan to promote awareness through his enterprise Sydney Native Bees.
If you’re interested in learning more about Native Bees Dan will be at Pocket City Farms Saturday 24th June delivering a talk to celebrate Camperdown Commons 1st year anniversary.
Our Native Stingless Bees box is available in September and can be pre-ordered now (and can be covered by the long day care approved funding).
For more educational ideas for your classroom and home visit www.backyardinabox.com.au and view our resources all covered by the long day care funding (which expires on the 30th of June 2017).