Beekeeper texting on her phone
Beekeeper texting on her phone

They’re cute, tiny and need your help in the Tweed

THEY'RE tiny, cute and pretty smart -and they need your help.

Beekeeper Peter Davenport - aka The Bee Man - is calling on locals to adopt a hive of stingless native bees to help the tiny creatures and the environment.

Honey bees and native bees have had a shaky start to the year after being devastated by drought and bushfires, particularly in the Hinterland and Northern NSW.

Mr Davenport has been breeding bees as a hobby since 1986 and said locals could pick up a nest of about 8000 bees, a bee box and a cover for $300.

"Native bees don't produce a lot of honey, so most people buy them for pets," he said.

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Native bees need some help after a tough 2019 when they were affected by drought and bushfires.
Native bees need some help after a tough 2019 when they were affected by drought and bushfires.

"They're pretty smart and really good for the environment as their main role is pollination."

The bee lover has about 2.4 million bees in 300 nests at his Elanora property and he's keen for others to share his passion for the tiny creatures that are so small, they look like flies.

"They don't possess a sting at all, so I get a lot of requests for them from kindys," he said.

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"Kids can put a finger in the hole of a nest and not get hurt. Native bees can bite you with their little mandibles, but it's just an annoying bite."

Mr Davenport said avocado, macadamia and strawberry farmers also bought native bees to pollinate their orchards.

 

Elanora’s own “Bee Man” Peter Davenport with one of his many Australian Native bee hives. Photo: SCOTT POWICK
Elanora’s own “Bee Man” Peter Davenport with one of his many Australian Native bee hives. Photo: SCOTT POWICK

 

He said there were two main types of native bees in Australia, one with six species and the other with seven.

"And if you keep them in a good place, you can get a kilo of honey from them every year."

According to Gold Coast Regional Beekeepers, 2019 was one of the worst years for beekeepers as drought, bushfires and smoke haze took its toll.

Beekeeper texting on her phone
Beekeeper texting on her phone

Mr Davenport has been breeding bees as a hobby since 1986 and said locals could pick up a nest of about 8000 bees, a bee box and a cover for $300.

 

A spokesman said beekeepers, who had been in the industry all their lives, were feeding their bees for the first time and they would to continue to do so in the near future.

"Fortunately, the Gold Coast escaped the worst of it and while our bees are not at the high-production stage that they are normally at during January, they are alive and surviving," he said.

He urged beekeepers to make sure that they had a good water supply close by, with a few sticks or stones for the bees to rest on while drinking and pollen paddies or sugar syrup to ensure they had adequate food supply.



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