On this special occasion of World Environment Day, we’re thrilled to share an intriguing glimpse into the buzzing world of bees at Araluen Botanic Park. Bees, as many of us know, play a crucial role in our environment by ensuring the reproduction of plants, the production of food, and the maintenance of biodiversity in ecosystems.
While Araluen is renowned for its diverse flora, little is known about the native bee species that call the park home. Recognizing the significance of these indigenous pollinators, Araluen welcomed Dr. Kit Prendergast, affectionately known as the Bee Babette, a native bee ecologist, to conduct workshops, surveys, and create native bee hotels. Their goal? To raise awareness and conservation efforts for these under-appreciated pollinators.
Over a span of seven months, Dr. Kit Prendergast embarked on surveys throughout the park, observing patches of flowering plants, and recording valuable data. The results were fascinating! A total of 71 specimens belonging to 20 species were documented, shedding light on the remarkable diversity within Araluen’s bee population. The three most common species were Amegilla (Notomegilla) chlorocyanea (otherwise known as the Blue Banded Bee), Exoneura (Exoneura) pictifrons, and Hyphesma atromicans. Notably, the discovery of Exoneura (Brevineura) gracilis, a species not previously collected in the region, highlights the uniqueness of Araluen’s microclimate.
To provide a haven for these precious pollinators, Stephen Prendergast crafted five carefully designed bee hotels that now dot the Park. On your next visit, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these buzzing abodes and see if you can spot any bees making themselves at home. Capture the moment and share it with us on social media by tagging @araluenbotanicpark.
Join us in celebrating the fascinating world of Araluen’s bees and their vital contribution to our ecosystem. Together, let’s raise awareness and appreciation for these remarkable creatures that make our world bloom!