Sweet talk about bees

Last Friday’s presentation on native bees attracted a capacity audience of 30 people at the Pittsworth Function Centre.

BeeZotted apiarists Matthew and Juliet Middleton followed their morning workshop with an afternoon session in Millmerran and a field excursions in woodlands near Millmerran on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning’s walks produced two native bee hives, a honey bee hive and a koala.

The two-day visit was sponsored by Pittsworth Landcare and Millmerran Landcare groups.

Matthew Middleton’s 35 year fascination with Australia’s stingless and solitary bees began in the Kimberley where he was working as a remote area nurse in the 1980s.

He now runs educational workshops about Australia’s stingless bees from his Sunshine Coast business BeeZotted, and sells native bees in hives and related products.

According to Matthew, Australia has more than 2000 native bee species, with three main stingless communal species on the Darling Downs.

Temperature is a critical factor in keeping native bees, so hives need to be properly insulated.

This week is Australian Pollinator Week from November 8 to 15, highlighting the vital role insect pollinators play in our primary production systems, food supply reliability and national economy.

Over 75 per cent of the world’s food crops rely on animal pollinators.

It’s the bees knees … BeeZotted apiarist Matthew Middleton leads his Pittsworth audience in a pollination polka.

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