In the last 20 years, the global honey bee industry has faced massive losses due to ‘colony collapse disorder’. Concern for the insects’ plight surfaces regularly in the media, inspiring multiple documentaries and science-fiction narratives.
But European honey bees, introduced to Australia in the 1820s, are not our only pollinators. We’re also home to approximately 2000, uniquely Australian, native bee species. And as the health of bee populations directly and indirectly influences both native plants and animals as well as economies across the nation, the challenges faced by bees need our urgent attention.
Dr Katja Hogendoorn, senior researcher in the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at Waite, unpacked the ‘bee crisis’ in detail in a fascinating presentation for the University’s Research Tuesday’s series. Is colony collapse disorder an issue in Australia? What are the potential causes and consequences of bee declines? Are significant pollination deficits looming? And what can individuals, local communities and govenments do to help?
Watch the full presentation here now!