Celebrating hardworking pollinators

6 June 2024 |

In a ‘buzzing’ celebration of Tasmania's invaluable pollinators, Strahan children and families came together on 18 May for an educational event focused on the hardworking native bees of Tasmania.

Big smiles from children as they display their handmade bee hotels. Photo credit: Bianca Burford

Highlights of the day included a hands-on activity crafting bee hotels using natural and locally sourced materials, providing a safe haven for Tasmanian native bee species. An interesting fact shared was that store-bought bee hotels don't work for Tassie bees. That's because insects are basically solar powered, so they tend to be smaller in cooler climates which have less sun. This means that mass produced bee hotels will have holes that are far too large for Tasmanian bees. The solution is to use the pithy stems of plants like man fern fronds which make a perfect home.

Another popular activity was the Bee Vision box - where children created their own flower which glowed under UV light to imitate the pollen guides and bulls-eyes that plants have on their flowers to encourage bees to visit. There were lots of excited screams from children peering into the Bee Vision box as they imagined what bees see!

The Bee Vision box was a great hit with the children. Photo credit: Bianca Burford

"We were thrilled to see such enthusiasm from the community in learning about our native bees," said Bianca Burford, Landcare Tasmania’s education coordinator. "It's essential to recognise and celebrate the
vital role these hardworking pollinators play in sustaining our environment and food systems."

Dr. Yolanda Hanusch, a pollination expert from the University Of Sydney, led an engaging session highlighting the differences between native bees and their more commonly known counterparts, honey bees.
Participants left with a newfound appreciation for Tasmania's hardworking little pollinators and a commitment to safeguarding their habitats for generations to come.

Dr. Yolanda Hanusch sharing fascinating facts on our native Tasmanian bees. Photo credit: Bianca Burford


Photo credit: Bianca Burford

Landcare Tasmania thanks the Elsie Flood Foundation and the State Government for their funding support, Dr Yolanda Hanusch for her engaging talk, Fullers Bookshop for donating Tasmanian native bee posters, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) for lending a cast of a honey bee, Motel Strahan for the accommodation for our pollination expert, Wildcare Friends of the Henty Group for their help in planning and running the event, and Strahan Primary School for generously offering the use of their hall.

Want to learn more?

Find out more about past and upcoming school holiday events with Landcare Tasmania.

Find out how you can be a citizen scientist:
Check out Australian Pollinator Week, running from 9-17 November 2024.

How can I can encourage native bees into my garden?

Everyone knows that bees need flowers!
Aim for a mix of native plants so that you have something blooming all year round.
Research has shown that native bees are more drawn to flowers that are blue, white and yellow, rather than the brighter colours such as red.

Cradle Coast planting guide