Buzz about beehaviour

LOCAL gardens brimming with food for bees is the goal of a new sculpture and mural in West Perth put up by WA Loves Nature. 

At the corner of Hay and Outram Street, the mural depicts plants that native bees love to feast on, and the group is encouraging people to include them in their gardens. It’s accompanied by a sculpture of blue banded bees, made by Respoke with advice from WA native bee expert Kit Prendergast to ensure they were anatomically and behaviourally accurate: Just like the real bees they gather in small groups to cling to a stem with their mandibles while resting. 

Perth federal Labor MP Patrick Gorman helped get funding for the project through the federal Communities Environment Program, saying “there’s a buzz about the new native bee mural and sculpture in West Perth, which I was proud to help unveil last weekend.

“The project, from WA Loves Nature, will educate people about the importance of native bees and was supported through my office’s Communities Environment Program.

“Supporting murals and sculptures such as these ensure 

a wider understanding of the importance of Perth’s biodiversity.”

The mural includes all the plant names and there’s detailed native bee food flyers available for collection at Gangemi’s wine shop next door. 

The best foods for bees

• jacksonia sternbergania: Sometimes called stinkwood, this pea plant doesn’t actually stink unless it’s chopped up or burned, and native bees love it (along with birds and butterflies).

• eremophila maculata: The spotted emu bush, so beloved by honeyeater birds they argue over who gets to feast from the tubular flowers.

• acacia pulchella: The prickly moses shrub, enjoyed by bees, fairy wrens, and even grey kangaroos like to graze on it.

• regelia ciliata: A myrtle shrub loved by bees and lazy gardiners because it is so low-maintenance.

• banksia menziesii: Good for the soil, also loved by honeyeaters and black cockatoos.

by DAVID BELL

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