Grants support farmers on a pollinator-friendly tree planting mission

Agriculture businesses across the country have received funding to plant pollinator-friendly trees, thanks to a new program that’s supporting farmers to increase indigenous habitat for native pollinators.

Seventeen agriculture businesses in four states received grants totaling $48,600 to plant pollinator-friendly trees.

The grants were available to Bee Friendly Farming certified businesses through BFF partners One Tree Planted and Flow Hive, and will be used to plant trees indigenous to the specific farm that provide nectar or pollen rewards to support pollinator health, encourage a diversity of pollinators and enhance crop pollination outcomes.

Grant recipients include Tower Hill cattle and cropping, Jigsaw Farms grazing, forestry and cropping, Buukaar Waaruung apiary and honey farm and Olam almond orchards in Victoria, the Almond Centre of Excellence in South Australia, Silverdale sheep grazing property in NSW, and Bowie Beef and WayFinder Vineyard in Western Australia.

Among the recipients are farmers Eliza and Ewen Peel who operate a cropping and livestock farm at Inverleigh near Geelong. The Peels have farmed the property since the 1850s and have managed beehives as part of their farm.

They recognise that improving pollinator habitat not only supports their bees but also benefits their cattle directly with increased shade and windbreaks, and indirectly through improved nutrition with better-pollinated, healthier pastures. Eliza Peel said it’s also good for business.

“Increasing biodiversity helps us feed people globally and care for the environment, without compromising either,” Mrs Peel said.

The Bee Friendly Farming grants will provide recipients with $1 per tree planted, supporting the creation of a combined 80 hectares of new pollinator habitat.

Grant partner One Tree Planted supports reforestation projects across the globe. Last year, the nonprofit planted 10 million trees. This year the organisation is on track to support the planting of more than 20 million trees. Each project is managed in partnership with local communities for a variety of objectives that range from forest fire recovery to habitat expansion for wildlife.

One Tree Planted Asia Pacific Regional Director Beth Dalgleish said this is the first time the global organisation has partnered with farmers specifically to plant trees to benefit native pollinators.

“Bees are an important indicator species of greater biodiversity, and these grants will be used to improve their habitat, with widescale benefits for the environment,” Ms Dalgleish said. “We hope this will inspire others to look into planting bee-friendly trees on their properties and apply for a grant next year.”

The grants are administered by Wheen Bee Foundation, and CEO Fiona Chambers said it’s a fabulous initiative for farmers.

“I am extremely pleased to form this partnership with One Tree Planted and Flow to offer Australian farmers the opportunity to increase pollinator-friendly plantings on their properties,” Ms Chambers said.

“We have already seen a diverse range of businesses receive grants to plant pollinator-friendly trees and look forward to working with these land managers as they increase their pollinator habitat, contribute to ecosystem health, and reap the rewards.”

The Bee Friendly Farming Tree Grants will be available again next year to farmers that are Bee Friendly Farming certified.

One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Their projects span the globe and are done in partnership with local communities and knowledgeable experts to create an impact for nature, people, and wildlife. Reforestation helps to rebuild forests after fires and floods, provide jobs for social impact, and restore biodiversity. Many projects have overlapping objectives, creating a combination of benefits that contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Flow Hive was invented by father and son beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson. It’s about much more than harvesting honey in an easier gentler way—it’s about creating community, educating people about the importance of pollinators and supporting beekeepers to be strong environmental stewards. Flow is committed to doing business in a regenerative, ethical and sustainable manner, generating a positive impact for pollinators and communities through its education and impact projects.

Wheen Bee Foundation is a registered Australian charity that promotes awareness of the importance of bees for food security, biodiversity and ecosystem health and funds research and development activities that address the national and global threats to bees.


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