Bushfire Affected Communities
Our immediate priority is to replace Native Stingless Bee colonies that have been devastated by the Black Summer bushfires of 2019
and 2020 along the East Coast of Australia and working with the local communities to achieve this. The Australian Government has
provided a small amount of grant funding from the Bushfire Recovery Fund to assist us in this project. We will replace as many
Native Bee colonies as we can in Bushfire affected communities and provide community engagement, education and training, to
these communities about the importance of our Australian Native Bees and pollination needed to regenerate fire devastated lands.
A sad fact: In NSW and Queensland by March 2020, thirty-three (33) people lost their lives, and 2,500 homes were destroyed. 8.4 million hectares of land burned. It is estimated that billions of insects perished. (Source: 7.30 Report ABC program The Aftermath).
The 20 fire effected regions in Qld & NSW that have been approved to be included in the program are as follows:
- Queensland: Stanthorpe, Fraser Island (World Heritage National Park), Beechmont, Peregian Beach, Gympie
- New South Wales: Drake, Ewinger, Port Macquarie, Gospers Mountain, Blue Mountains (World Heritage National Park), Hillville, Wytilba, Taree, Eden, Bobin, Johns River, Cobargo.
The project and the beehives will be predominantly placed on public land, schools, parks and community centres. They may be on private land if hives existed in the wild previously and these lands are of significance.
Working with our volunteers from across Queensland and NSW, grant funding from the Australian Governments’, Bushfire Recovery Fund kick started our capacity to assist us in achieving this ambitious project.
This project received grant funding from the Australian Government’s investment in bushfire recovery for wildlife and their habitats.
Men Shed Program
The Billion Bees Hive boxes are custom built by volunteers from the Bayside Men’s Shed in Sydney, NSW, to the engineering design specification developed by Master Beekeeper Bob Luttrell.
The result is sublime. A beautifully constructed hive out of sustainable Paulownia timber, that can withstand high temperatures.
Built to withstand heat, pests and made to increase airflow to the brood via designed plenums to ensure hive ventilation and hive health. The Billion Bee Foundation are looking to expand this partnership with Men’s Sheds throughout New South Wales, in order to provide the hive boxes free for the Bushfire effected communities.
The Men’s Shed will also where possible we will be passing on knowledge to new Men’s Sheds for them to become self sufficient in the long term.
NSW Aboriginal Land Council
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) support initiatives being undertaken by the Billion Bees Foundation. The project, to rejuvenate Native Stingless Bee populations in areas impacted by the 2019-20 Black Summer Bush Fires, is one that aligns with the interests of NSWALC and the network of 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils in protecting and restoring the country.
NSWALC will provide in-kind support to the Foundation, assisting it to engage with local Aboriginal communities on the ground in the target communities across NSW. As always, NSWALC believes that a locally-led approach is best, and will work to ensure that local communities have the capacity to participate in the project. Ultimately, this partnership between the Foundation, local communities and NSWALC will lead to positive outcomes for all involved.
Billion Bees have formally partnered with Bangalow Koalas and continue to develop a project to bring Native Stingless Bees back into bushfire, flood or drought affected communities for pollination and to restore biodiversity in our environment. We hope that we may be able to enhance the Bangalow Koala corridor project by the provision of Native Stingless Beehives, during our breeding phases.
The Billion Bees hives will be ajisted during our native stingless bees breeding phases, as the lands that are being regenerated along the koala corridor. https://www.bangalowkoalas.com.au/
Thank you to all the Childcare Centres, educators and parents that are sending us messages to become part of our Billion Bees Children’s Program.
Each Centre that has a hive plays a breeding role in our program where we provide a healthy hive in a Billion Bees Forever Box to develop over time. This becomes a strong mother hive that we soon attach an empty hive to. When the empty hive has developed a new brood and is ready it will be donated to another centre and this process is then repeated by all childcare centres and schools.
We provide an education program for the children to understand how our native stingless bees live in our environment.
The Billion Bees Foundation are piloting a new school’s program in the East Hills district of Sydney that will breed stingless bees in the towns and cities. These communities can provide more pollination resources thanks to urban gardens. The hives will then be delivered to Bushfire affected regions to assist in bush regeneration.
Arborist Rescue Team
The Billion Bee Foundation works with many tree Arborists to rescue natural Our Native Stingless Bees are rescued from sites of timber felling and land development. We work with arborists that identify hives that are vulnerable and will be destroyed. Billion Bees team members go to the sites and work with the arborists to rescue the bee broods. If the Billion Bees team did not rescue the hives, they would be destroyed by being milled, chipped or burnt. The funds that are given to the Foundation go directly back into the process of rescuing, homing, education and supplying beehives to communities that require regeneration. We have some great stories and footage on our videos (link) that shows real time rescues.
For the Bushfire Recovery project, the Billion Bees Foundation have been working with local government in Queensland and New South Wales, engaging with local community groups such as Landcare forming partnerships to build the local Billion Bees community and providing on the ground local advice.
"The Billion Bees Foundation acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we stand and pay our respects to Elders past and present.
Always was - Always will be."