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Project 3: To Bee or Not to Bee

When it comes to gardening the answer is always to bee! Today, on World Bee Day, we wanted to share with you some info about the humble bumble bee.

Why Are Bees Important?

Did you know that without bees most of our food wouldn't exist? That's right! Bees, and other pollinators, are responsible for the survival of more than 75% of the world's food crops.

Pollination is required for plants to reproduce, and many plants need a bit of help from bees, or butterflies to be able to produce the delicious fruits & vegetables that we harvest.

According to the United Nations, "Three out of four crops across the globe producing fruits, or seeds for use as human food depend, at least in part, on bees and other pollinators"

That's why they are called busy bees!!

This year, the United Nations has chosen 20th May as World Bee Day so that the awareness of just how important bees, pollinators, are globally, the threats that they face and the bees contribution to sustainable development. Much like what we are trying to do in our own back yard vegie garden.

If we can solve the problem with the rapid decline in bee populations, this could assist in finding a solution to global food supply and potentially eliminate hunger in under developed countries.

How Can You Bee Engaged!

These are some things that you can do in your own garden, or by supporting your local producers:

  • planting a diverse set of native plants, which flower at different times of the year;

  • buying raw honey from local farmers;

  • buying products from sustainable agricultural practices;

  • avoiding pesticides, fungicides or herbicides in our gardens;

  • protecting wild bee colonies when possible;

  • sponsoring a hive;

  • making a bee water fountain by leaving a water bowl outside;

  • helping sustaining forest ecosystems;

  • raising awareness around us by sharing this information within our communities and networks; The decline of bees affects us all!

Source: United Nations, World Bee Day

For our vegie garden project we thought we would start with a Bee House/Hotel.

Just be sure to read up on how to maintain them and keep them from becoming toxic to bees. Ideally, empty out the house every year or two and give it a good cleaning and make sure that the nesting tubes are removable.

We have also set up several bee water baths and added some pebbles and stones in there so that the bees and insects don't drown while they're trying to drink the water.

So our dream would be to buy a Flow Hive and learn how to harvest our own honey! What a thing of beauty!!

The Flow Hive was invented right here in Australia by father & son, Stuart & Cedar Anderson. They've designed a beautiful, space saving, time saving and affordable way to become backyard a beekeeper!

Here's a video of Cedar showing you how the Flow Hive works

For more information about Flow Hives click on this link

Our Theio & Theia (uncle & auntie) in the Riverland have their own bee hive, as seen here with our gorgeous Theia Despoina who was visiting back in 2016.