Athol Craig with some of the information regarding bees.
Athol Craig with some of the information regarding bees.

Bee aware, says guest speaker

EVERY month gardeners get the opportunity of travelling and visiting different gardens throughout the Gympie region, and this would not be the case without Brian Herron organising these venues.

Last Saturday, members of the Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society admired the lovely green countryside in the Mothar Mountain area as they were unable to travel via Cedar Pocket due to bridge repairs.

Walking through Kim Springhall's garden there were comments such as "Wow, that is beautiful" pointing to the Cedar Pocket dam, which creates a lovely backdrop from the old Queenslander home, and "Oh, isn't that cute" looking at the white table and chairs near the dam wall.

The weather was perfect in that there were no showers or rain while holding the meeting outside beneath the large ficus tree, and after a long absence from the society Judith and Keith Fall were welcomed back.

Lyn Day and Cathy Willis were inducted into the society with each of them being provided with a brief history, badge and a certificate.

Guest speaker Athol Craig, from Valley Bees, said there were many different types of bees native to Australia, possibly 2000 species, that feed on nectar and pollen whereas wasps liked eating spiders and other insects.

The bee has two pairs of wings (which allow it to fly in all directions), six hairy legs, two compound eyes and three simple eyes all located on the head of a black-yellow body covered with hair. There are differences between bees in that native bees will only travel 500 metres, and honey bees will travel 5km to find pollen, and despite being good pollinators they are unable to pollinate custard apples. These are assisted by tropical rainforest beetles.

Athol said bees were disappearing at an alarming rate due to the bush being cleared for farming purposes or building houses, and if nothing was done to try to conserve the bee population we could be starving in four years time as they had a massive impact on our food chain.

Gardeners are encouraged to grow different plants in gardens, and therefore will have different kinds of bees being attracted to flowers in various sizes, shapes and colours of either blue/violet, mauve/pink, white and yellow. They cannot see red and rely on their sense of vision to locate flowers. 

 Inquiries president Henry Kross 5486 7242 or treasurer Raelene Kross 5489 9903 (bh).

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