Add some buzz to your yard
YOU CAN feel the Fraser Coast weather warming and the fragrant scent of flowers is in the air.
Can you hear the buzz of our insect friends as they get busy in your backyard?
Spring flowers are full of rewards for little buzzing bee visitors – nectar, which is rich in sugar, and pollen that provides protein.
Flowers advertise these rewards to attract bees through their colour, shape and scent.
There are about 2000 native species of Australian bees, but have you seen any in your backyard?
Australia’s Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife’s Backyard Buddies program is all about getting more enjoyment from native animals in your backyard. It provides tips and advice on how to make your backyard buzz.
“Unlike commercial honeybees imported from Europe, Australian bees have spent millennia evolving with Australian wildflowers so they’ve adapted to each other.” said Ms Leonie Gale, Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife CEO.
“Our native bees come in a great range of colours and sizes, from a tiny 2mm to a whopping 24mm. Some have furry overcoats while others are smooth and sport shiny armour.
“You can find Australian native bees in all of the country’s varied environments. During the warmer months in Grafton, you have a good chance of seeing some of our native bees. They nest in habitats as diverse as tree hollows, underground burrows or inside plant stems.” explained Ms Gale.
Native bees you are likely to spot in Hervey Bay include stingless social bees, blue banded bees and teddy bear bees. You can discover stingless bees building resinous nests inside hollow trees. They store their aromatic honey in tiny pots.
Blue banded bees have distinct blue stripes and love visiting purple flowers such as native peas.
Look out for fat teddy bear bees nesting in shallow burrows in the soil.
Is there a battle of the bees?
If commercial European honeybees and our native bees are foraging on the same flowers, they don’t fight. However, European bees are better foragers than most native bee species and can fly at lower temperatures.
In situations of limited food resources, such as our urban areas, the European bees come out on top.
Most native bees are small and fragile creatures and have difficulty competing with the highly-efficient commercial bees we have introduced from Europe.
If you can’t find any native bees in your backyard, there are lots of things you can do to bring our buzzing bees to your backyard.