We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, upon which ACT for Bees meets and works and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We are grateful for their connection, knowledge and care of the land and all of life for thousands of generations. We have much to learn from them.
Verse at the start of our meetings: “May the bees teach us about the interconnectedness of all of life. We will work together to keep these connections strong.”
Love Food? Love Bees! Small and vital, bees work together for the good of the whole ecosystem. Let’s join them. Bee Friendly Australia! ACT for Bees is about more than bees: we’re focused on flowers and plants, bees, butterflies, birds and ways to empower us all to support biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. Since 2014 we’ve been collaborating with the ACT Government, local business and community groups and schools on ways to take action for biodiversity through planting for year round flowering for pollinators for food security and environmental health. Our ‘Bee Friendly Gardens’ PowerPoint presentation and fun and interactive activities for children have been widely used over the years. Please contact us if you would like us to present it to your business, community group or school. We love sharing about why pollinators are so important and ways we can all make a difference.
We created the highly successful ‘Love Food? Love Bees!’ free online curriculum with Cool Australia for Early Learning, year 5/6 and Year 9/10 to raise awareness of the importance of bees for our world. We recently added native bees to the curriculum which has received very positive reviews.
Together we can create a Bee and Pollinator Friendly Australia! Come and Join Us!
ACT For Bees Success With ACT Government
Exciting news! The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has adopted ACT for Bees additions in their review of the ACT Government MIS25 Urban Landscape Planting List.
Developers and government bodies can only use plants on this list. The list now includes our data on flowering times, nectar, pollen, seed resources, the species of forager (whether it be bees, butterflies, birds) and habitat for native mammals. It guides choosing plants for flowering throughout the year, which species are the best for long periods of flowering and also indicates medium or high nectar and pollen production.
The review focussed on selecting species which are suited for an increasingly hot climate and also includes Ngunnawal cultural notes.
Planting Pollinator Corridors to Maximise Biodiversity in Urban Design
A pioneering event that focused on creating Pollinator Corridors in the initial planning of suburbs. Watch the videos on Pollinator Corridors of this engaging half-day conference event focused on how to design planting for pollinators for urban sustainability, biodiversity and local food production. Learn how the design of landscaping and urban plantings for pollinators can help to maximise biodiversity. Karen Kemp and Olivia Ward in their presentation outlined how they designed 200 metre grids for year round flowering for local native bees in MacNamara, Stage 2 of Ginninderry development in West Belconnen, Canberra Australia. This is a unique development focussed on sustainability and well worth learning about!
Supported by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA)
We are working towards ‘Bee Friendly Canberra’
DEFINITION/DESCRIPTION OF A BEE (POLLINATOR) FRIENDLY ACT
A Bee-Friendly ACT focusses on improving the policies and practices of institutions and organisations in the ACT.
- Government – open spaces, public recreation parks,
- Businesses – urban developers, horticulture, nurseries,
- Agriculture – farmers, Canberra City Farm, ACT and Region Beekeepers
- Educational institutions -, primary, secondary, tertiary (ANU, UC, ACU, CIT)
- Community based organisations, Landcare, etc beekeepers.
- In addition private gardens
- Bee-Friendly COMMUNITY is on ‘improving public and community gardens, citizen knowledge and behaviour’.
BEE FRIENDLY ACT DEFINED
Provide ideal pollinator-friendly habitat, including:
- Diverse and abundant nectar and pollen from plants blooming in succession throughout the year
- Water for drinking, nest-building, cooling and butterfly puddling
- Undisturbed spaces (leaf and brush piles, unmown paddocks or paddock margins, nature strips, fallen trees and other dead wood) for nesting and wintering for wild pollinators
- Is free or nearly free of pesticide use (-in farming, gardening, agriculture, seed and plant propagation, park and open space landscape maintenance etc)- see pest management below.
- Is comprised of mostly native flowering plants, grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees in landscapes because many wild pollinators prefer or depend on the native plants with which they co-adapted
- Connectivity between habitat areas to support pollinator movement and resilience
- Where possible, designated pollinator zones in public spaces with signage to educate the public and build awareness; and
- Safe and humane removal of honey bees when required.
- Use integrated pesticide management practices- see more detail below
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a long-term approach to maintaining healthy landscapes and facilities that minimise risks to people and the environment by:
- Identifying and removing the causes of pest problems rather than only attacking the symptoms (the pests).
- Encouraging beneficial insect predators to help control pests naturally. Employing pest’ natural enemies along with cultural, mechanical and physical controls when prevention is not enough.
- Not using biocides that are harmful to bees, e.g. Neonicotinoids and only using them when no other method is feasible or effective.
WHY DOES ACT NEED TO BE BEE-FRIENDLY?
- Our food depends on bees/pollinators. Nearly two thirds of our food production -fruit, nuts, vegetables, seeds, and livestock feed is dependent on the existence of bees and other pollinators. Urban agriculture is increasing in the ACT.
- Overuse of pesticides, herbicides, modern agricultural and conventional gardening practices are killing our bees/pollinators or making them more vulnerable to disease and pests.
- Human activity, urban development and modern agricultural practices are reducing the habitat and food sources for bees/pollinators, insects, birds and animals throughout the food chain.
- Bees/pollinators increase the biodiversity and food supply for a diverse range of insects, birds, animals, reptiles and fish.
Please contact us if your business, school or community group would like to join us! We will be creating a map of Bee Friendly sites.
ACT for Bees submissions to the ACT Government towards ‘Bee Friendly Canberra’
‘Nature in Our City’ Opening statement to the committee.
ACT for Bees Nature in Our City 29.6.2018 docx The recent reports of a worldwide decline in insect populations has implications for food security, not only for humans but also for the food web which sustains biodiversity. Globally 90% of wild flowering plants depend on pollination and these plants are crucial for the continuing functioning of ecosystems to provide food and habitats for a wide range of species.
Feedback from Nature in Our City February 2020 9th-ETCS-10-Inquiry-into-Nature-in-Our-City
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is undertaking a review of pesticides called neonicotinoids 2019-2021. ACT for Bees will be working on a submission. Join us? More information here.
Saturday 22nd February 2020 ACT for Bees, Landcare ACT, Friends of Australian National Botanic Gardens event.
Enjoy watching the 10 minute videos from a broad range of experts and ACT Government focussing on pollinators and biodiversity by visiting Bees Butterflies Birds – Maximising biodiversity by supporting pollinators
We were very excited that Costa from Gardening Australia made the trip to Canberra to join us, inspire us and run the networking session afterwards. Thanks so much to all the expert speakers who shared their experience in a very brief time! Lots of great resources on the Bees Butterflies Birds – Maximising biodiversity by supporting pollinators page.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Ngunnawal, Ngambri and Ngarigo people, upon which ACT for Bees meets and works and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We are grateful for their connection, knowledge and care of the land and all of life for thousands of generations. We have much to learn from them.
Fires and drought across Australia has profoundly impacted widespread communities and biodiversity. Many native forests have been burnt that are vital for the health and well being of native bees, European Honey bees and pollinators of many species that are crucial for biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. It is now even more important for us to plant for and maintain our urban gardens and parklands to protect our bees, butterflies, birds and local wildlife. Find out more what you can do by watching the videos and planting for pollinators. We can all make a difference and the impact of COVID-19 may help us to reconnect to our place and become more aware of the beauty and also our responsibility to take care of Earth.
Hall Village, the first ‘Bee Friendly Village’ in Australia has created a ‘Bee Friendly Community’ Charter
We, the community of Hall village and district, are committed to embracing bee friendly practices for the benefit of biodiversity , public health, water and soil health.
We will establish and maintain plantings of pollinator safe habitat in public spaces and in our gardens. Would your community like to use this as a basis for a ‘Bee Friendly Community’ in your region? Read more about the Hall Village Community Charter
Ongoing collaboration and networking ‘as a voice for the bees and pollinators! Join us in being a ‘Bee Guardian’
- Partnered with ACT Govt at Bush Friendly Stall at 2016 Floriade and built a bee hotel for the stall which is now at ‘Ginninderry’ development in West Belconnen outside The Link.
- We’re collaborating with Ginninderry to create ‘Pollinator Corridors’ of year round flowering for bees and other pollinators, birds including threatened migratory species and small mammals.
- Run a ‘number of Bee Friendly Backyards’ workshop at The Canberra Environment Centre.
- Educated a range of organisations with our 30 minute ‘Bee Friendly Gardens’ PowerPoint. Please contact us if you would like us to come to your business and share the importance of bees and why we all need to be taking action for them!
- Visited a range of schools to share the wonder of bees with primary students. Please invite us along if you are doing a unit on bees and sustainability.
- Attended Natural Beekeeping workshops with the Beekeepers of ACT Association.
- Built a Warre Hive with Warren for display at education stalls.
- ‘The Bee Friendly Plant Stall’ at The Orana Spring Fair has a section with a wide range of plants that are pesticide free and fantastic for bees. Weston (ACT) 2nd Sunday in November (13th November 2016).
- ‘Back To Earth‘ Radio program 98.3fm Fridays at 2pm once a season Rhonda Whetham and Warren Clendenning talk about Bees Business…
- Appeared in ‘The Hungry Gardener‘ podcast speaking about the importance of bees for our world .
- Created a short puppet play on the importance of bees with students to present to ‘Kids Teaching Kids 2015 Week’ at the National Zoo & Aquarium.
- Marched for ‘The Bees’ at The Peoples Climate March in February 2016
- ACT for Bees and Canberra Biodynamic Gardening group have recently started managing the Weston Community Orchard in co-operation with ACT Govt. Come and join us at working bees to learn more about organic and biodynamic methods to maintain fruit trees and restore the health of the soil.! The 3rd Sunday of the month. See Facebook Weston Community Orchard for details
Bee Curriculums for classrooms:
We have partnered with ‘Cool Australia- Learn for Life‘ to create an exciting ‘Love Food? Love Bees!‘ curriculums for Early Childhood, years 5/6 and High School as well. They can be downloaded from the Cool Australia website and taken straight into the classroom & also practically outside in the garden! We love the way Cool Australia curriculums are easy to use, focussed on sustainability and empower students to take action for the good of the world. Check out these curriculum materials through our website.
March 2021. We’ve just received a report from Cool Australia about the reach of the ‘Love Food? Love Bees!’ education material reaching 132,329 students this past year and since August 2016, 390.887 student have participated in this program Australia wide!
We’ve just added a unit on Australian native bees to the Year 5/6 curriculum which has already had very positive reviews from teachers.Well worth using in spring when the native bees emerge again.
Check the FREE resources out and find out why they are one of Cool Australia’s top performing resources.
Our ‘ACT for Bees’ group visits markets, Festivals & Sustainability Conferences with activities for children ‘Be a Bee andPollinate the apple trees!’ teaching about the importancof bees for pollination of our food and ways to be ‘Bee Friendly’.
KEEP THE GLOBAL HIVE ALIVE: BEE FRIENDLY AUSTRALIA
A Community Arts Project is showing how vital bees are for the pollination of a whopping 2/3 of our food production. Fruit and nuts including apples, almonds, avocados, cherries, kiwifruit, apricots, peanuts, blueberries, plums, mangos, oranges, peaches, pears, watermelon and honeydew melons. Vegetables and seeds including beans, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, onions, pumpkins, squash and sunflowers. Livestock feed including clover and lucerne all depend on honeybees for pollination. More photos on our Art for Bees page.
What is your favourite food on the Global Hive?
ACT for Bees partnerships: We are very excited that the first group to join us is ANU for Bees (Australian National University). They got off to a busy start at the end of last year by planning and planting a pollinator friendly garden around the Canberra Environment Centre thanks to a grant from the ACT Government. Well worth dropping by to see the buzz in the native plants and also the beautiful bee hotels.
World Bee Day celebrations
ACT for Bees was involved in BIG celebrations of pollinators at Parliament House and at the Swedish Embassy in 2018 & 2019. The Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Canberra, The Embassy of Sweden, The Embassy of Switzerland, and other Nordic Embassies including Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Estonia, Parliament House, Canberra Region Beekeepers, Capital Region Farmers Market, Hall Rotary, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Bush Blitz, Wheen Bee Foundation, Australian Honey Bee Industry Association, Rotary for Bees, Pure Pod, CSIRO, IKEA and Bunnings.
Due to COVID-19 the World Bee Day 2020 had restrictions on large social gatherings, so an innovative approach of The 2020 Global Online Waggle Dance Challenge is an attempt to achieve 20,000 waggle dance videos, from 20 countries, across 2020. Find out more here as it’s still open for you to join!