Native bee enthusiasts and professionals alike are in a buzz of excitement with the formation of their own member organisation, the Australian Native Bee Association. The organisation aims to promote the conservation and sustainable farming of native bees.

The association is headed by President Dr Tim Heard. “The association will harness and spread the enthusiasm for native bees by many groups including naturalists, beekeepers, farmers, and backyarders,” Dr Heard said. “Although much interest is centred on the stingless bees of warmer areas, all native bees lie within the scope of the association.”

Native stingless bees are considered social in nature and are found in the warmer regions of Australia. They can be kept in hives and used for commercial honey production and pollination. However it is the huge numbers of solitary and semi-social bees which has captured the interest of many bee enthusiasts across the nation.

Dr Heard said that all bees are vital to our ecosystem and the association wishes to promote this information. “We encourage the formation of local branches and already have expressions of interest from a number of regional areas in five states and territories.”

The Australian Native Bee Association will achieve its objectives and spread the word of the importance of native bees, by providing resources, supporting members and communicating with stakeholders. The Association also has many long term goals including the desire to obtain funding for a stingless bee honey standard and accredited training in bee keeping. The association will host the second Australian Native Bee conference in Brisbane later this year.

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