Busy Bees are the bees knees & we need more

We need more bees, bees are the bees knees

Oz Native Bees

The expression “the bees knees” was coined in the late 18th century to describe anything small or inconsequential. It took on a new meaning in the 1920s, which is still in use today, and it now refers to someone or something being very cool, exceptional, superb, of high quality, or highly admired.

A ‘Busy Bee’ is someone who enjoys a wide range of activities; they are always active, working hard, and keeping themselves occupied.

What’s the big deal about Bees?

Bees are an important part of the natural world, but we sometimes take them for granted. Maybe it’s because we don’t fully comprehend their significance?

Bees pollinate our plants by transporting pollen between plants of different sexes to fertilise them, as well as between different parts of the same plant.

The work of our Busy Bees promotes plant reproduction and keeps plant species strong by preventing inbreeding.

Because Australian native bees do not store nectar, they do not create honey, at least not in sufficient quantities, but European honey bees do produce honey, which is why they were introduced into Australia some 200 years ago.

European honey bees are not perfect though as they steal food from native birds and animals and take over their habitats. They do, however, pollinate some of our crops as well as much of our natural flora.

Native bees might not produce honey but they do pollinate native plants, many of which can’t be pollinated by introduced Bee species. Some flowers need vibration to release pollen, which many of our native bees can do and this is called buzz pollination. Native bees can even pollinate some introduced plant species.

Although native bees do not make honey, they do most importantly pollinate native plants, many of which cannot be pollinated by introduced bee species. Some flowers require vibration to release pollen, which our some of our native bees species are very capable of, a process known as buzz pollination. Some imported plant species can even be pollinated by native bees.

There is a bit over 2,000 native bee species in Australia, ranging from the breathtakingly huge 24 mm yellow and black carpenter bees to the tiny 2 mm Quasihesma bees. Australian native bees are crucial pollinators of our gorgeous wildflowers and native plants due to their diverse shapes, sizes, and behaviours.

The vast majority of native bees in Australia are solitary creatures, although there are eleven species of fairly social Stingless Native Bees. They prefer to take residence inside of tree hollows, straggly trees near isolated waterholes, plant stems, and subterranean shelters they have dug out for themselves.

European honey bees are a particularly social species that live in colonies of up to 80,000 inside hives. They build parallel wax structures to store food and house their larvae and prefer to nest in a cavity such as a hollow tree or house wall.

Twelve worker bees are required to produce one teaspoon of honey (4.2 grams) and 22,700 trips are necessary to fill a single 12oz jar of honey.

Most Ozzy Native Bees are too small to sting effectively and they are not aggressive. However, if one of the larger native bees is picked up or stepped on, it may be able to sting. The majority of stings are not that unpleasant and they only last a few minutes.

However, European honey bees are more aggressive, they will defend their hive and they pack quite a big punch with their stings as they are quite painful.   The symptoms that follow a honey bee sting vary depending on the quantity of venom that has entered the victim’s immune system. The discomfort ultimately goes away, but only after a time of swelling and itching.

Unfortunately, 11 species of Australian Native Bees are now listed as threatened. This is primarily due to all of the recent bushfires. Only three Australian bee species were categorised as threatened prior to the fires.

Stop using insecticides and herbicides, plant bee friendly gardens, develop a dedicated native garden, learn about bees and make native bees feel welcome by providing them with a home are just a few of the things we can do to aid bees in Australia.

This aids in the conservation of bees.

Consider constructing a ‘hotel’ for bees.

For the love of coffee and cheesecake

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