Posted by Rosemary Waghorne

Bees and other pollinators are essential to maintain production of our food crops and are responsible for one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat!  Over recent years there has been an alarming reduction in pollinator populations worldwide. Thanks to this enthusiastic group of bee champions, many more Rotary clubs and communities are actively engaged in fighting the decline of pollinator populations worldwide. 

Now in its fourth year, Rotarians for Bees, a project of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, Victoria, is expanding into New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory as a project of the Rotary Club of Castle Hill, NSW. 

The focus of Rotarians for Bees https://.rotariansforbees.org is: 

  • to educate and engage people of all ages regarding the importance of bees and other pollinators in preserving our food security;  

  • to promote establishment and maintenance of appropriate habitat; and  

  • to engage in projects aimed at sustaining and growing bee and other pollinator populations. 

Since its inception, Rotarians for Bees has gained enormous support and interest from Rotarians and from the ever-increasing number of people who share a passion for environmental sustainability.  The network collaborates with the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG); and partnerships have been established with organisations including the Wheen Bee Foundation, bodies representing commercial and recreational beekeepers, and ACT for Bees.   

Current projects of Rotarians for Bees Victorian Chapter include sponsoring the best pollinator garden in the Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria School Garden Competition; sponsoring Wheen Bee Foundation development of pollinator planting guides; and development of music and choreography for the Waggle Dance, an activity to educate and involve school children learning about bees. https://rotariansforbees.org/project/waggle-dance/  

The expansion into NSW/ACT will play an important role in extending the reach of Rotarians for Bees, coming at a critical time when bees are under threat from an incursion of the destructive varroa mite into NSW. 

The NSW/ACT Chapter is led by: 

    • Chairperson: Past District Governor Jeremy Wright AM, an active apiarist and advocate for environmental sustainability 

    • Secretary: Lucy Hobgood-Brown, E-club of Greater Sydney, a champion of environmental causes, including a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo  

    • Treasurer: Agnello Dsouza, RC Castle Hill 

    • John Kenworthy, Rotary Club of Hall, ACT, well known for environmental works in the ACT region. 

    Future activities and plans of the NSW/ACT group include a ‘Bring Back the Buzz’ event; school garden programs; nature strip, rooftop and balcony gardens; involvement in market gardens; special events to highlight World Bee Day and Pollinator Week; pollinator corridor creation in urban areas; agricultural regeneration; and partnerships with local councils for community environmental events.  

    The NSW/ACT group would like to hear from anyone who might be interested in joining and providing support to their cause.   

    Victoria Chapter contact: John McCaskill: john@jmcresources.com.au