Farmers and gardeners are helping to protect Australia’s precious pollinators through the brand-new Bee Friendly Farming certification program.
Pollinators need help! 1Scientists around the world have sounded the alarm that we are amid an ‘insect apocalypse,’ driven by pesticides, climate change, pollution, land clearing, bushfires, and industrial agriculture.
The Australian-first Bee Friendly Farming (BFF) certification program works directly with farmers and gardeners to promote and certify bee-friendly landscapes and practices.
The BFF program is being launched in Australia by the Wheen Bee Foundation, with help from $50K sponsorship from Founding Platinum partner, Flow Hive.
Wheen Bee Foundation CEO Fiona Chambers said BFF Australia is a science-based program overseen by a national task force of Australian experts.
“The task force ensures BFF supports bees and other pollinators to thrive under Australian conditions whilst optimising the benefits to landholders,” she said.
Stu Anderson is a co-inventor of Flow Hive, Platinum Partner for launching Bee Friendly Farming® in Australia.
Mr Anderson said more than half of the Australian continent is devoted to agricultural production and securing pollinator health on farmlands is crucial.
“Pollinators are essential to life as we know it. Bees help to pollinate most of the crops we eat and many that feed farm livestock. Nearly two-thirds of Australia’s agricultural production benefits from pollination by bees, but global insect populations are crashing at an alarming rate,” he said.
Aussie farmers are getting on board with applications spanning horticulture, grazing and viticulture enterprises.
Mike Hogan has a 4ha certified organic & Bee Friendly farm in Alstonville, northern New South Wales where he grows avocados, custard apples and vanilla beans.
He’s implemented several bee-friendly practices at his property, including planting for biodiversity. Coffee, sunflowers, Lilly Pillies and Himalayan Magnolias are just some of the plants he’s added to help pollinators.
Mr Hogan says pollinators are vital to a healthy environment, food security and thriving farm economies, making bee friendly agricultural practices crucial.
“Looking after the bees is looking after ourselves and giving back to the environment. A lack of bees means a lack of pollination… In my line of business, if you don’t have the bees, you’re not going to make any money,” he said.
James Bowie is owner of Bowie Beef in Western Australia. According to James, the integration of beef, biodiversity and bees is a ‘no-brainer’.
“There’s pollination benefits from honeybees and native bees, as well as the ecosystem services provided by beneficial insects for predation of crop pests and parasites,” he said.
Ian Rathjen owns Whistling Eagle Vineyard in Colbinabbin, Victoria.
“Bees are a good indicator. If we have a healthy vineyard ecosystem and we have bees present then we know that the environment’s working well,” he said.
To learn more, or to register to become a Bee Friendly Farming certified farm or garden, find out more.
Available for Interview:
- Wheen Bee Foundation CEO Fiona Chambers
- Flow Hive Co-Founders Stu and Cedar Anderson
- NSW Bee Friendly Farming® Farmer Mike Hogan
- WA Bee Friendly Farming® Farmer James Bowie
- VIC Bee Friendly Farming® farmer Ian Rathjen