Beekeepers must spread their love of bees to an often apprehensive public through education and advocacy.
Earlier this year The Land reported from the Amateur Beekeepers’ Association of NSW conference. The keynote speaker was Costa Geordiadis, host of the ABC’s Gardening Australia programme.
Bee friendly gardening was the topic, but Costa spent a good part of his talk emphasising another, more important ‘planting’ to be done. The “sowing of seeds of awareness of the importance of bees into the public consciousness”.
Beekeepers “cannot just be quiet and hope,” Costa said, “they must educate, talk to schools, ‘planting’ ideas and information, use social media to tell the story of bees and beekeeping”.
“This is as important as planting flowers in community gardens.”
Luke is also a bee educator and advocate, speaking to fellow students about his passion for bees at Perth schools for nearly two years. The ABC followed him to one of his incursions with primary school children, where he had his young audience “captivated” from the outset.
His mother explained to the ABC that his bee obsession began when the family gave him a small hive for his 14th birthday. Now he’s the youngest member of the WA Apiarists’ Society.
Passionate advocates and educators like Luke are essential. Especially for spreading the bee-love to younger generations, and to their parents.
As The Land reports, “there is widespread apprehension of bees in the community.”
“…beekeepers must tell their story to inform and dispel this fear and create awareness of the vital role bees play in our social and ecological environment.”
Too many times Ian at Bee2Bee has seen a beehive poisoned, when he or another apiarist would have happily rehomed it. So there is still plenty of work to do!
What’s your experience with the public perception of bees? If you’ve got a story to tell us about your own bee advocacy and education efforts, get in touch at [email protected]
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