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Upper Hutt City Council supports Bee Aware Month

Upper Hutt City Council supports Bee Aware Month

The month of September is the National Beekeepers’ Association of New Zealand’s Bee Aware Month and Upper Hutt City Council is supporting this initiative by promoting bee-friendly planting.

Upper Hutt City Council is supporting ‘Bee Aware Month’ during September. The initiative has been set up by the National Beekeepers’ Association of New Zealand in a bid to promote the wellbeing and prosperity of bees and bee habitats around New Zealand. According to the Beekeepers’ Association, bees pollinate two thirds of the food we eat, so life would be a struggle without them.

“Over $5 billion of New Zealand’s agricultural exports also depend on bees. Bee numbers worldwide are in decline and we must do all that we can to save them before it’s too late – some of the main factors causing this are nutritional stress, lack of food compromising the bees’ resistance to pests and diseases, and pesticides and sprays.”

There is a comprehensive list of plants that are classified as “bee-friendly” which are mostly suited for household plantings such as herbs, fruit and vegetables, and wildflowers.

As a council, we already use a range of bee-friendly plants in our bedding displays, such as cornflower, forget-me-not, poppy, geranium, marigolds, Alyssum and salvia. Trees planted or growing in our streets and reserves which attract bees include, lemonwood, kowhais, oaks, elms, maples, alders, crab apples, tulip trees, willows, native flax, ivy, lavender, and agapanthus. Other native trees which are present in some bush areas include rewarewa and lacebark.

There are also two companies who are currently making use of Council land for their beehives.

Residents are encouraged to use bee friendly plants in their gardens. Bees like blue, yellow, white, and purple flowers, and both local and native plants. Include a variety of shapes and colours and plant flowers in groups together, which will also attract butterflies.

There is extensive information online including more gardening tips and how to encourage the wellbeing of bees around your home. Go to www.nba.org.nz

ENDS

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