WHAT’S THE BUZZ?

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WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
19th September, 2017

Spring is here and soon you may be lucky enough to see a very cute noisy bee with a blue striped bottom buzzing around your borage. If you do, then you have been beefriended by the beautiful, solitary native blue banded bee. A fantastic buzz pollinator and one of the 350 species of native bees recorded in Greater Western Sydney region.

Above: the blue banded bee (left) and European bee (right).

Bees, both native and European, are one of the main pollinators of our food crops. Along with other insects and animals, bees pollinate the fruit, vegetables and flowers in our gardens, and at the moment these pollinators are under threat.

Loss of habitat because of rapid urbanisation and over-clearing of native vegetation, loss of food because of flowerless ‘low maintenance’ gardens, and overuse of pesticides are all placing a huge strain on bee populations, and without bees and other pollinators our food diversity is also in decline.

But the good news is that where there are flowers, water and habitat, there will be bees and other beneficial bugs, birds and critters, bringing a natural balance to your garden.

Native bees love flowering trees, shrubs, and annual and perennial flowers. Lavenders, borage, grevilleas, native daisies and salvias are all plants they love in my garden in Katoomba. I have seen a leafcutter bee, blue banded bee, wasp mimic bee and a masked bee – all wonderful native bees – buzzing around these plants!

So plant flowers, make a native bee hotel, and place bee baths made from an old saucer or pot plant saucer filled with water and stones (for the bees to climb onto) near your flowering plants. You can also register for pollinator week and record the native bees you have in your garden.

Above: Native Bees of NSW poster is available in the Co-op Big Little Shop. 

Bee part of The Buzz in the Blue Mountains!

Come to the Co-op’s Spring Saturday demo on Saturday 23rd September from 10 am–12 pm and find out how to make a bee hotel for your garden – more info here.

Learn more by visiting these fantastic websites:
www.beesbusiness.com.au
www.aussiebee.com.au
www.australiannativebees.com
www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/groups/the-pollinators/

Jane Anderson – Bush Care Manager, Native Bee Buzzinator and Co-op Member

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