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September - A Month to Bee Aware

A month to bee aware

Bring out your bee costumes and gardening gloves – Bee Aware Month (BAM) is nearly here!

This September, schools, councils, gardeners and bee enthusiasts all over the country will be getting involved in generating awareness about bees.

Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ) will run this annual event, a month-long campaign designed to educate New Zealanders about bees and celebrate their vital role in our biodiversity and economy.

Shining a spotlight on our bee-loved pollinators

Kiwifruit, feijoas, chili peppers and coffee are just a few things that we wouldn’t have without bees.

According to FAO, 75% of the world’s food crops depend at least in part on pollination. The honey bee is the most widespread managed pollinator globally.

This year’s theme, Pollination Illumination, is all about shining a spotlight on the benefits bees provide us through pollination.

“The pollination story is significant to New Zealand not only in agriculture and horticulture but in the role native bees play in maintaining our unique biodiversity,” says Karin Kos, ApiNZ Chief Executive.

New Zealand’s smaller native bees, of which there are 29 species, play an important role in pollinating native flora such as pohutukawa and harakeke.

Kos says that people in both rural and urban spaces can play a part in helping bees do their job by creating safe and nourishing spaces for them. This means growing bee-friendly plants and minimising the use of sprays.

A hive of activity

With the support of sponsors De Winkel Yoghurt, Farmlands Co-operative and Mitre 10, ApiNZ will be running activities and competitions during BAM.

BAM will be launched with a family event co-organised with Wellington Botanic Garden and the Wellington Beekeepers Association at Treehouse Visitor Centre, Wellington Botanic Garden on 3 September. The programme will feature a live display hive, educational walks and talks, drop-in activities for kids and honey tasting.

Anyone interested in BAM can get involved and keep up-to-date with what’s happening and get involved via the Bee Aware Month Facebook page and the ApiNZ website BAM page.

What’s happening throughout the month

Launch event: Pollination Illumination at the Treehouse Visitor Centre, Wellington Botanic Garden

Sunday, 3 September 2017 | Facebook event

NZ’s mobile science laboratory Lab in a Box will be on site to shed light on our pollinators and a live observational hive will be available for viewing. Drop in anytime between 10am-2pm to play a game of plant bee-ngo, try on some beekeeping equipment and taste honey samples from local bees. Stay tuned for our programme of scheduled educational walks and talks.

Digital Art Competition for Schools

We’ve invited schools to get creative and design an image using digital art software! This can be a collage, single image or infographic using digital paint, text and visuals illustrating the importance of bees as pollinators. There are prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and the top designs will be posted on our website and printed in the New Zealand Beekeeperjournal.

Council Bee-Friendly Garden Challenge

The Bee Aware Month (BAM) Council Bee-Friendly Garden Challenge is back for 2017 and involves councils around the country dedicating a patch of land to scattering bee-friendly plant seeds.

Apiculture NZ will supply councils with a packet of wildflower seeds which cover up to 50 square metres and will provide food for bees all season long.

Cooking with Honey and Pollinator Recipes

We will be posting both sweet and savoury recipes featuring honey, pollen and pollinated produce on the BAM page throughout the month and inviting people to share their recipes on Facebook and Twitter by tagging us and using the hashtag #beeawarenz17.

Facebook competitions

Throughout the month we’ll be posting quizzes on bee facts as well as drawings for giveaways.


ENDS


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