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New poster puts Australia’s unique native bees on show

A new limited edition poster featuring some of Australia’s most remarkable native bees has been produced to bring attention to the diversity of Australia’s native bees

The Discover Bees of Australia poster features detailed images by photographer and scientist Dr James Dorey, whose photographs capture the incredible colours and features of each bee in remarkable detail.

The poster features 22 native bee species, including the tiny Anthidiellum (Pycnanthidium) turneri found on the Queensland coast, Megachile ustulata, known as a firetail resin bee because of its distinctive orange abdomen, and the iconic Xylocopa (Lestis) aerata or green carpenter bee.

Funds raised from each purchase go to the Discover Bees program, which aims to identify and name Australia’s 1,000 undocumented native bee species over the next six years.

Wheen Bee Foundation CEO Fiona Chambers says this campaign to raise funds to identify and document Australia’s native bees comes at a critical time for many bee species, which face the threat of extinction due to continued habitat loss and climate change.

“Australia’s native bee species have co-evolved with our native plants,” Ms Chambers says. “In some cases, they have developed a unique relationship where specialist bee species are required to pollinate certain plants.

“The extinction of any one of these bee species could drastically affect some native plants, which in turn could potentially alter Australia’s unique ecosystems.

“If we don’t do this important identification and documentation work soon, with the increasing threats to native bees through habitat loss and severe weather events, we risk losing important bees before we have developed an understanding of the critical role the play.

The poster is $35 and is available for pre-order at wheenbeefoundation.org.au/product/discover-bees-poster

The poster has been produced with support from Rotarians for Bees, Taxonomy Australia, CSIRO, and the Australian Native Bee Association.

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