Natural beehive in a tree in Sydney.

Natural beehive in a tree in Sydney.

I went to a private garden today (outside Marrickville LGA) & while looking at a lovely tree, came across a beehive in the trunk of the tree.  To say I was shocked is an understatement.  Bees were streaming past my face going about their business & although they must have known I was there, seemed to ignore me.  I didn’t step closer, only staying long enough to take some quick photos.  This was the first time in my life I have seen a natural beehive.

Bees are in trouble in many parts of the world due to Colony Collapse Disorder & scientists are still debating why bees are dying.  With one third of the world’s food crops dependent on honeybees for pollination, if they die, the human race is in big trouble.  Imagine the work needed to pollinate all our food plants & trees?  It would be backbreaking & never-ending work.  The bees work for us for free.   In the US an estimated 30% of bees have disappeared.  Spain has lost up to 80% of its bees. Fortunately, there is no sign of Colony Collapse Disorder in Australia.

We can help bees by planting bee-attracting flowers & trees in our garden.

Lots of flowers attract bees & so do herbs, as long as they are allowed to go into flower.   Some of the more popular & easily obtained plants that attract bees are lavender, begonias, nasturtiums & salvia.  Herbs like basil, thyme, rocket & catmint attract bees if you allow them to go into flower.  Another way is to look at the flowering plants at the nursery.  The bee-attracting plants will generally have bees buzzing around in the flowers.

For native bees & native plants, The Australian Native Bee Research Centre has a great two-page factsheet.  In this they list & describe Australian native bees, plus native Australian plants & trees that are bee-attracting.  It’s a great resource.  See –

Other than these approaches, plant a tree in your garden, wait a few decades until a hole appears & hope the bees come.   🙂