World Bee Day: save the date, and our pollinators

World Bee Day, on May20, focuses on the vital role honeybees and other pollinators playin providing for humanity. Simply, if we wipe out the bees we lose more than 75 per cent of our food.

Everyone needs to save the bees. If you want to keep them in your garden, you need to ensure you comply with the law by registering and managing your hives accordingly, and that you educate yourself about honeybee pests and diseases.

All of us can contribute to the goal of having a healthy pollinator population through restricting the use of bee-harming chemicals around your home and garden. If you do not think keeping bees is for you, then plant flowers and trees for bees to feed on.

Recently in the European Union there has been a grass-roots led victory for bee survival. After a seven-year campaign, the outdoor use of neonicotinoid pesticides in all 28 EU countries has been banned.The chemicals are widely used here, but the n Pesticides and Veterinary Authority says there is no evidence at present to support an influence of these chemicals on bee populations.But beekeepers warn that neonicotinoids are affecting their bee health and that of the native bee populations, and are strongly supporting the need for new scientific studies.

Catch up with the latest in bees over the Bee Day weekend on the Central Coast at the NSW Amateur Beekeepers’ Association conference. Our bee-keeping NSW Governor, David Hurley, will be officiating, along with Costa Georgiadis. Also on offer are demonstrations, books, courses and a chance to hear the amazing crowd-funding story of the Flow Hive from inventor Stuart Anderson. Pollination is critical for fruit and seed production and for life in general. Pollination means bees.

Professor Tim Roberts is the director of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, University of Newcastle

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