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  • Writer's pictureSustainable Wraps

Why Australian Bees are Special

We all know that the bees are dying, but do you know why? And that you can help them?

Why you need to buy Australian

Australia is unique in the fact that we are the only continent left in the world which is not contaminated with varroa mites.

Varroa mites are tiny pin sized parasites which survive off using honeybees as hosts. They were first discovered in the US in the 80’s and over time have spread to many parts of Europe, Asia, South America and New Zealand. Wherever the mites spread death and destruction of bee colonies follows.

Varroa mites are so deadly as their whole life cycle happens within beehives. The adult mites plant larvae in the bee eggs where they breed and multiply. Each bee leaves the cell with 7-8 mites where they can be transferred to other bees. This process happens again and again until the whole hive is infected. As varroa mites feed on bees they leave them vulnerable to pathogens and viruses including one which deforms wings stopping them from flying. The mites slowly weaken bee colonies and if precautions are not taken hives make less honey and can fail within a year.

Source: Philippe Psaila/Science Source

There has not been an 100% effective solution to rid bees of varroa mites. Pesticides are most commonly used which have a range of side effects, but still less harmful than the mites. This means that Australian bee products do not contain these harmful pesticides.

This is why it is important to buy Australian bees products and make conscious purchasing decisions. Sustainable Wraps are hand made locally in Melbourne from all-natural sustainably sourced ingredients.

Why We Need Bees

Many of us do not realise how vital bees are to our entire ecosystem and in turn, survival. One third of our global food supply relies on pollination, meaning you can thank the bees for 1 out of every 3 mouthfuls of food you eat. Bees are responsible for pollinating almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of crops.

To put it in perspective, if bees died out here’s just a few foods which would die with them:

Almonds, Apples, Blueberries, Watermelons, Cherries, Onions, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Capsicums, Tangerine, Coconuts, Hazelnuts, Cucumber, Lemons, Limes, Carrots, Strawberries, Cotton, Walnuts, Sunflowers, Various Beans, Apricots, Plums, Pomegranates, Pears, Blackberries, Sesame, Eggplant, Cocoa, Cranberries, Vanilla, Tomato, and Grapes.

As well as this flowers and trees are also reliant on pollination. If bees are removed from the equation, it is not only humans who lose food it is other animals and insects as well.

What you can do to save the bees

Honeybees have had a difficult few decades which has led to a dramatic decline in their population. One reason for this is the Varroa mites, however humans are also partly to blame. The use of pesticides, global warming and the destruction of their natural habitats have all been detrimental to their survival.

All hope is not lost however, and we can all play a part in helping the bees.

Plant Bee friendly plants

Choose native flowers that can be pollinated throughout the whole year. Bees also need a variety of different plants as they like different shapes and sizes. Bees are attracted to blues and purples but also like yellows, pinks and whites. Some of the most popular plants include:

· Lavender

· Daisy’s

· Native fuchsia

· Native violet

· Sweet basil

· Flowering gums

· Sage

· Native rosemary

· Bottlebrush

Don’t Use Pesticides

The use of pesticides on your garden will lead to the death of bees due to the toxicity.

Buy Local Bee Products

Support your local bee products- get to know where your honey is made and support this important industry.

Spread the Word

People are aware that the bees are dying, but not the cause or why they are so important to our ecosystem. Help spread the word and what other can do to help!

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