Working together to save our Bees and other Pollinators to secure our food supply
our bees are in danger
cAN YOU HELp?
Without bees and other pollinators much of the world’s food supply would end so it’s literally a matter of life and death that these essential tiny links in our global food chain are supported.
What's causing a buzz this festive season?
Latest from the Blog
7 native plants perfect for an Aussie Christmas
Ditch the exotic plants this Christmas and deck the halls with these native species instead.
At this time of the year, we’re flooded with images of European pine trees, holly and poinsettia – but there are plenty of Australian native species that make beautiful substitutes.
Here are 7 favourites vrom the Govenment of Australia and Greening Australia:
1. Sturt’s desert pea
Big, bold and bright, Sturt’s desert pea (Swainsona formosa) is the floral emblem of South Australia, and it makes a gorgeous alternative to poinsettia, the red-leafed Mexican plant that so many of us give and receive as Christmas gifts.
Like poinsettia, Sturt’s desert pea is well-suited to pots so long as you plant it in a free-draining potting mix. Feed them regularly and you’ll be rewarded with lots of flowers.
Bottlebrush is flowering at the moment, and it makes a great table decoration, or a potted gift that can later be planted in the garden to provide a feast for nectar-loving birds.
Scarlet bottlebrush (Callistemon rugulosus) and Flinders Ranges bottlebrush (Callistemon teretifolius) are ideal, as they are both native to SA.
3. Callitris pine
Also known as the southern cypress, the callitris pine (Callitris gracilis) is another SA native.
It has dark green foliage and the classic pine tree shape, and grows well in areas with low rainfall and rocky soil, making it the perfect Aussie Christmas tree.
Plant one in a pretty pot to bring indoors, or put one in the garden as a specimen tree. Just make sure you have plenty of space, as they can grow up to 15 m tall in wetter areas.
4. Woolly bush
Woolly bush (Adenanthos sericeus) hails from Western Australia and is becoming accepted as a native Christmas tree alternative.
It has silvery foliage and grows well in a pot, so you can bring it inside for the holidays. It also grows well outdoors and can grow up to 5 m tall in warm, dry climates like Adelaide’s.
It can be trimmed to mimic a classic pine shape and is sturdy enough to hold fairy lights and decorations.
5. Holly-leaf grevillea
As its name suggests, this grevillea (Grevillea ilicifolia) has spiky, silvery grey leaves that look like holly.
Also known as holly grevillea or native holly, it is perfect for use in wreaths and table decorations that would normally use European holly.
It is native to SA, Victoria and New South Wales, and grows well from seed to become a small bush of up to about 1.5 m tall.
6. Christmas bush
Several different native plants are known as the Christmas bush. The SA version is sweet bursaria, (Bursaria spinosa), an upright, prickly shrub that is covered in white flowers in summer.
The NSW Christmas bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) is probably the best known of the native Christmas bushes, with its masses of bright red flowers.
7. Christmas bells
Another NSW native, Christmas bells (Blandfordia nobilis) is a tufted herb that produces pretty bell-shaped red and yellow flowers on leafless stalks.
Christmas bells grow well from seed, but be aware that you won’t get flowers until the third year.
Orginial article from Good Living and Greening Australia.
Our Potential impact
1. Rotary’s Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG) aims to integrate environment and sustainability into everything we do. It is building membership through regional chapters, including one Australia, which will focus on 2 key issues: bees and plastics. Hence, Rotarians for Bees is a perfect fit with ESRAG.
2. ESRAG has a partnership with the UN and is setting up project teams, e.g. climate change, pollinators; investigating the possibility of an Enviro club award; and developing a Database on environmental projects in Rotary. Rotarian for Bees members have agreed to join ESRAG.
3. While Rotarians raise funds for a multitude of projects, Rotary is not a bank with unlimited funds. Its key strength is in networking, lobbying/influencing, and mobilizing its members.
4. Rotary cannot (nor should it try to) solve all of the issues relating to pollinator decline. Many of them are the responsibility of the industry and/or government.
Let’s Start Something new
We would love to hear from you. Whether you’re a Rotarian or not, we need people like you getting involved to help create the awareness to solve the issues faced by our pollinators..