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.

Current and Recent Happenings

Recent Articles from our Blog

Launching our new website

It's World Bee Day today and we're launching our new website to celebrate. It's a volunteer built site and still a little under construction...so please check back and we will be adding more content including details of more projects that are either underway or on the...

What are the issues ?

Honey bee pollination (53 crops– 75% of our food crops)– contributes $14 billion to the Australian economy.

Our estimates for Australian Agriculture production are increasing, yet our bee populations are decreasing. 

The country’s food security is at risk if we don’t work together to ‘save the bees’

Disease : Varroa

The varroa mite carries a disease that destroys hives and bees. In the US varroa mite resulted in a loss of ~50% hives. In Australia 50% of pollinators are wild bees. The mite has not yet reached Australia, but its almost inevitable arrival will cause a loss of up to 75% of Australian pollinators. The impact will include loss of pollinators, impacting on both food production and the economy; and use of pesticides in hives, thus adulterating honey. It will take up to 10 years to rebuild bee numbers and restore the balance.

Pesticides

Use of pesticides in agriculture, by local councils and in gardens are putting our bees and other pollinators at risk.

High-strength Round-Up type chemicals are banned in Europe, but not Australia. Not only do they kill detrimental insects, but also the ‘good’ ones.

Rotarians for Bees is working to raise awareness of this and seek your support in spreading the word.

Habitat

Our Honey Bees, Native Bees and other pollinators require year round food sources.

The recent bushfires decimated habitat around the country and have put pressure on much of Australia’s bee population.

Additionally urbanization and lack of habitat diversity are making it more difficult for our pollinators.

Planting bee friendly trees and plants can make a difference.

Climate Change

Climate change is having an enormous effect, leading to a decline in pollinators and honey production world-wide.

 

Financial Sustainability

There are many factors affecting Commercial sustainability.

Adulterated honey with sugar-based additives is one. 

Currently, there is no testing facility in Australia to identify adulterated honey.

Education / Training to support more people entering the Beekeeping  sector is also important.

Fragmentation

There are both commercial and hobby beekeepers.  In Victoria alone there are around 9,000 beekeepers, all of whom are registered with the government, but only ~2,000 of whom belong to Apiary clubs.  Privacy issues preclude identification outside the government of non-club apiarists. Whilst each state has a local association, there is little communication between them.

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
Say Hello!

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..