In December 2017, the UN approved Slovenia’s proposal to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day, so what better place to celebrate this international event than in Canberra and ACT? 

John fitting in well at the Bee Fair.

Over a hectic but very enjoyable two days, John and Liz McCaskill from Victoria were joined by Lucy Hobgood-Brown from NSW to represent Rotarians for BEES and try to fit in as many of the events as time allowed. It was also an opportunity to learn from experts in their field, to re-connect with acquaintances from the bee community as well as to meet in person, those previously only seen at webinars. 

Canberra embraced World Bee Day almost since inception and continues to raise awareness to the importance and plight of bees, through events held by participating Embassies and various organisations throughout the region. 

Some of this year’s celebrations included tours of in-house hives and gardens of Parliament House and the Embassies of Slovenia and Italy. The screening of ‘Hive’, a multiple award winning movie, was hosted by the Swiss Embassy at the ANU theatre. The Belgian Embassy hosted a family-focused Bee Fair that offered fun activities including virtual views of a hive interior, guided tours of actual living hives and native bee hotel making. Notably, some of the proceeds from the raffle and stalls selling local honey and honey products were raised to support efforts for rebuilding beehives in Ukraine.

The Capital Region Farmers Market, operated by Rotary Club of Hall always enters into the spirit of World Bee Day celebrations. The stall holders carry through the bee theme in costumes, displays and delicious honey treats. This year, served by members of Hall Rotary, you could even sample a traditional Slovenian Honey Breakfast oflocal honey and beautifully crisp apples from the Market..

ACT for Bees is the original, long standing and highly respected advocate for bees which Rotarians for BEES is fortunate to have as a partner in the region.

This year, their stall was a standout with engaging new banners as well as extensive educational material, stressing the importance of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems for all pollinators and wildlife. Fun activities for children, like the interactive pollinating experience and seed-bomb making, (usually part of their stall display, were transplanted to the Bee Fair in the beautiful gardens of the Belgian Embassy. 

As part of Rotarians for BEES collaboration with the Rotary Club of Hall and ACT for Bees, we were given a fascinating guided tour of the historic Village of Hall, Australia’s first Bee Friendly village, located just off the Barton Highway on the Eastern entry to Canberra. 

Read about our walk through the beautiful Bee friendly village of Hall here.

A most enjoyable and informative time in Canberra….well worth a visit for all lovers of bees.

You can discover Hall’s beauty as well as its historic sites by taking one of the self guided tours here.