Natives bees will buzz in gardens
A POPULATION of tiny bees will be buzzing around Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens from now on after the Fraser Coast Regional Council bought two special hives and colonies of the 4mm-long stingless native bees for the gardens.
Visitors to the garden will be able to see the hive, which has been placed behind the orchid house, and watch the tiny bees as they chase nectar and make honey.
According to CSIRO entomologist Tim Heard, who designed the hive, native bees play a crucial role in pollinating native plants and are especially useful in areas of bushland regeneration, which makes them perfect for the gardens.
The special design of the hive will allow beekeepers to harvest the honey without disturbing the colony.
Native bees are low maintenance and are especially suited to family life in the suburbs.
The bees have adapted well to life in the tropics, where there are always plenty of flowers around and the winters are short and mild but they only produce small amounts of honey.
In the past 15 years a native beekeeping industry has slowly developed is Australia and has the potential to become an important cottage industry.
An interpretive sign describing the hive and bees will be put near the hive.