First there were fires and then floods. These natural disasters could have wiped out millions of native bees
We all feel compelled to help and repopulate these areas and I’m not saying don’t try, but there’s a few issues…
- We don’t know what we’re trying to replace.
- Groups or organisations need to consult with researchers before starting any projects to understand what’s needed.
- The endangered and vulnerable bees are solitary and mostly ground nesting, not stingless bees.
- Wildlife, insects – bees are pretty good at repopulating areas naturally so will we be contributing much?
- Are we going to do research in the specific areas before we take any action and then follow up with research or data after we’ve taken action to see if we’d had any impact?
- If all we do is build up the population of stingless bee colonies, will that have a negative effect on the endangered and vulnerable solitary bees by creating too much competition before the flora can return to support them?
- Hobbyists and native bee businesses may fill the role of returning stingless bee colonies naturally anyway just by having hives in the area.
- By the time any organisation gets projects moving the bees will probably already be naturally repopulating the area.
- How do you measure any of this?
What should we do?
Maybe all we should be doing is looking after the habitat and the bees will naturally repopulate.
In the linked article below researchers cross referenced data on the bushfire areas in NSW Australia and came up with a list of possible endangered and vulnerable native bees for those areas.
“Sometimes scientists feel like we’re paralysed by not having the data we need to be able to answer some of the big questions.” – Dr Caddy-Retalic