August 11, 2017
"Australia is on the few countries in the world to remain free of varroa mite (Varroa destructor). If varroa mite were to become established in Australia our healthy population of feral honey bees, and the pollination services they provide, could be reduced by 90 -100 per cent." Fortunately, agriculture Australia has put restrictions on hives to limit the spread of varroa and they are keeping a close watch on the Australian bee population.
There is a few things however, that anyone can do to improve the bees situation.
1. Plant Bee Loving Flowers
Bees are losing their habitat due to sprawling suburban lawns and intensive monoculture-based farming. Plant bee loving flowers free from chemicals.
Example: Lavender, sage, verbena and wisteria, mint squash, tomatoes, pumpkins, sunflower, oregano,rosemary,honeysuckle.
2. Don't use pesticide or chemicals to treat your garden
Pesticides affect bees in a number of ways including their developmental rate, feeding behavior and even by affecting their learning process through neurotoxins, which impact their flower and nest recognition abilities along with their navigation skills. In addition, insecticides compromise their immune systems, making them more vulnerable to disease and parasites. The possible effects these chemicals have on our own health should also be a cause for concern.
3. Buy local raw honey
Local honey will be prepared by local beekeepers. This keeps food miles down and helps the beekeeper to cover the costs of beekeeping. Local honey complies with all food standards requirements but is not mistreated to give it a long shelf life. It tastes quite different to foreign supermarket honey and has a flavour that reflects local flora.
4. Buy local organic food from a grower you know
Given that insecticides are cited as being the main cause of bee decline, a switch to organic farming is the first logical step. Organic farmers work with nature and the seasons to grow their crops, without the use of harmful pesticides, supporting both biodiversity and the bees.
5. Learn how to beekeeper with sustainable practises
This is not only a rewarding and fascinating hobby but you would also be contributing in food sustainability and bees are the best pets they don't need feeding or much looking after!
Beekeeping course in Byron Bay click here
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