A buzz about parliament

PARLIAMENT HOUSE is getting surrounded by drones, with three beehives installed around the outer gardens.

It’s a three-way project between UWA’s Centre for Integrative Bee Research, parliament house and hobbyist beekeeper Joseph Kwintowski.

Many view bees as fuzzy, stinging irritants, so the project’s aim is to raise awareness about their plight.

• Look how friendly these bees are. They’re not even stinging Michael Sutherland, Barry House, or beekeeper Joseph Kwintowski. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Look how friendly these bees are. They’re not even stinging Michael Sutherland, Barry House, or beekeeper Joseph Kwintowski. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

Over the past 20 years honey bee populations have taken a nosedive due to disease, parasites and pesticides.

Legislative council president Barry House says people need to change their perspective.

”For a long time the bee has been viewed as a flying cane toad, when they are in fact responsible through pollination for a third of the world’s food supply,” Mr House says.

WA bees are healthy and speaker Michael Sutherland says “the fact that we have disease-free, clean, environmentally green bees in WA needs to be actively promoted and that status retained”.

So far they’ve been kept safe because of geographic islation, biosecurity measures and bans on using pesticides on hives.

“I like bees, I’m not scared of them at all,” Mr Sutherland says.

“I’ve had swarms in the garden and I’ve always had people in to take them away rather than poisoning them.”

CIBER’s bee buffs are hoping to get people to take an active part in bee preservation instead of just squashing them.

by DAVID BELL

925 Redemptorist Monastery 10x3

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