M'boro beekeeper wants to learn how to farm native bees
ALBERT Einstein has been repeatedly quoted as saying that if the bee disappeared, man would have only four years left to live.
There is doubt about whether he actually said it, - but it seems in modern life the importance of our tiny, buzzing friends is often forgotten.
As for the native Australian stingless bee? Most people are unaware of its un-bee-lievable presence and the vital role it may play in the future.
Maryborough beekeeper Joe Tinson says the small black bees may be able to act as a replacement for the endangered honey bee.
"What we have to do is learn how to farm our own Australian native bees, so that we can get it commercial to take the place of other bees where possible," he said.
He said there were about 1500 recorded species of native bee and only about 12 of those species are social bees that humans can keep in a hive.
"We can actually put them into a box and commercially learn more about them. There has been research but there are still not a lot of people learning how to farm them."
Mr Tinson said it was important to remain one step ahead and act now to reduce the impact of expected loss of honey bee population.
"In some cases, because these bees are so small they actually get into the flowers of plants a lot better," he said.
Hervey Bay beekeeper Doug Irvine said diseases and pests were affecting bees around the world and the native stingless bee were most threatened by land clearing.