To bee or not to bee


Native bees are quite different to honey bees. The European honey bee is highly social, with hives having a queen and several thousand workers.

In contrast, most native bees are solitary and nest alone. A single female bee builds a small nest and then does all of the tasks that are necessary to support new offspring.

Native bees use a variety of nesting places. About half of the Australian bee species dig their nests in the ground. The other half of the species use natural hollows, such as rock crevices, old borer’s holes in wood, or even keyholes.

They can also excavate their own tunnels in soft timber or pithy stems of plants.

Did you know that there are thousands of native bee species in Australia? And many more are yet to be discovered… some might even visit your garden!

Last weekend Jurien Bay was a buzz – as NACC hosted a creative and informative, hands-on Native Bee Workshop.

The workshop started with an interesting presentation by Kit Prendergast, officially known as the ‘Bee Babbette’ who informed participants of native bee species local to WA and talked about some of their specialised pollinating techniques. Kit also spoke about the perfect size holes to use when creating a native bee hotel and what height the hotel should be from the ground.

After taking a break and enjoying a well-deserved lunch, everyone jumped straight back into the action by making their very own native bee hotels with bamboo, PVC pipe and rope (all recycled of course!).

Attendees at the workshop agreed that they had learnt so much, and many couldn’t wait to set up their native bee hotels and watch the native bees move in.

NACC’s Bushcare Officer Vanessa Brown said it was a fantastic afternoon and she was thrilled with the turn out.

“Everyone learnt so much which was the main thing we set out to achieve,” she said.

“Kit taught us all about what native bees look like, what their sting is like and how big or small they can be.

“We learnt all about how to help provide homes for bees in your very own backyard and how you can help native bees by planting a diverse range of native flowering plants like Jacksonia, Olearia or Eucalypt – they just love them!”


This project is supported by the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government National Landcare Program.


Is there any plans to run this workshop in Geraldton ??


Thanks for your question. We have had a lot of positive feedback about this event and hope to run something similar soon. The exact locations are not confirmed, but we are thinking near Kalannie and Northampton.

All the best
Biodiversity Coordinator

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