Council is partnering with the apiculture community and stakeholders to help raise awareness around the critical role bees play in our lives – and how everyone can play their part in protecting their future.
Bees contribute about $5 billion to New Zealand’s economy through products like honey and beeswax, they also play an important role in our biodiversity, pollinating and regeneration, while supporting about one third of everything we eat, says Councillor Teri O’Neill, Natural Environment portfolio lead.
“Our native bees are essential in supporting our urban ecology, and they are a remarkably low-cost investment for our growing communities as they contribute so much to our food production systems and health medicines too.
“As a proud beekeeper of about 50,000 bees I have first-hand experience in how a little bit of effort goes such a long way with these remarkable creatures.”
This Bee Aware Month, Council and Apiculture NZ (ApiNZ) are inviting everyone to join in any of the whānau-friendly, accessible and fun events and activities around the city, all designed to raise awareness and provide tips about how to be bee-friendly.
Activities include meeting beekeepers, learning how to make beeswax wraps, and visiting an apiary. There’ll also be events at local libraries, online digital events and competitions, and of course there’ll be lots of honey.
We can all do our bit, and education is a good place to start, says Mayor Andy Foster.
“Knowing what to do when you find a swarm of bees, appreciating the value bees provide in so many ways to our economy, ecology and environment, or just planting flowers in your garden to ensure a healthy variety of food for them are simple things we can all do.
“At Council, we make the city as bee-friendly as possible by growing seasonal flowers to support their ecosystems, we have a number of beehives, and we also supply natives to volunteer groups to add even more bee-friendly plants to our parks and reserves.”
Many activities can be found online, but some events are dependent on COVID-19 alert level Ministry of Health guidelines. Visit wellington.govt.nz/beeawaremonth for the latest up to date information.
- Bee a Hero with info, posters, and tips at www.beeawarenz.co.nz
- Meet a beekeeper and get creative and design your own honey jar label at the Botanic Garden Shop in the Treehouse Visitor Centre
- Learn how to make beeswax wraps at the Sustainability Trust
- Visit an operating apiary at the Home of Compassion Open Day