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WBF077 Bee Morning Tea NEWS

Support Australian bees and beekeepers with a sweet morning tea

Show your support for bees and Australian beekeepers and the vital role they play in food production by taking part in the Great Bee Morning Tea.

Bees will take centre stage at coffee and tea breaks across Australia, thanks to a new nationwide morning tea to celebrate the vital roles bees and beekeepers play in food production, biodiversity and ecosystem health.

The Great Bee Morning Tea is being launched by the Wheen Bee Foundation in the lead up to World Bee Day on 20 May, with this year’s theme recognising the important role bees play in global food systems.

Wheen Bee Foundation CEO Fiona Chambers says The Great Bee Morning Tea is encouraging people to take positive steps to support these crucial contributors to Australian agriculture.

“More than just producing honey, bees and beekeepers provide a vital yet often unrecognised service to Australian agriculture,” Ms Chambers says.

“At least 53 crops grown in Australia rely on pollination by insects to some extent – crops such as almonds, macadamias, avocados, apples, pears, berries, stone fruit, plus vegetables and canola. This pollination is provided by managed honey bees, along with native bees and other pollinators, which all contribute to improving yield and quality of these crops.”

The threats to bees and other pollinators are well documented, with pests and diseases, habitat loss and reduced floral resources all having a negative impact.  

Meanwhile, beekeepers face increasing pressures from rising costs in managing pest and disease, severe weather events including bushfires, floods and droughts, and decreasing prices received for their honey, driven in part by competition from cheaper imported honeys. 

These factors threaten bees and beekeepers and the pollination services they provide agriculture, right at a time when agriculture is demanding more pollination, with increased plantings across major pollinator-dependent crops.

“These imported products are actually undermining Australian beekeepers and, in doing so, threatening Australia’s agriculture industry,” Ms Chambers says. “By joining in The Great Bee Morning Tea, and buying Australian honey, you provide a revenue stream that supports Australian beekeepers to continue providing pollination services to Australian farmers.”

Businesses, schools and community organisations are all encouraged to hold a Great Bee Morning Tea in May filled with treats made with pure Australian honey.

“Getting involved is easy, simply gather a group of friends or colleagues and encourage everyone to bring something made with Australian honey,” Ms Chambers said. 

“We want to see people making honey-filled biscuits, cakes and honey joys, or buying snacks and baked goods made with pure Australian honey.”

Event organisers are encouraged to raise funds for the Wheen Bee Foundation, to help the Foundation deliver programs and research projects that address the national and global threats to bees and other pollinators.

“This is a sweet, fun way to support the unsung honey heroes of Australian agriculture,” Ms Chambers said. 

Find out more about the Great Bee Morning Tea at wheenbeefoundation.org.au/gbmt

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