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Old Televisions Converted to Bee Hotels

Date: 30-Mar-17
Author: Alicia Jooste

Sue Prenzler (left) and Louise Cosgrove, whose recycled TVs are attuned to the needs of native bees. © Scenic Rim Council

Sue Prenzler (left) and Louise Cosgrove, whose recycled TVs are attuned to the needs of native bees.

A Queensland woman is using retro televisions in a novel attempt to bring native bees back to suburban areas.

Louise Cosgrove, from Jimboomba on the Gold Coast Hinterland, is the new hotel manager for Australian native bees.

The idea came to Ms Cosgrove after her son-in-law left 100 recycled analogue televisions at her home.

Her son-in-law had already recycled the inner-tubes of the televisions, leaving plenty of space for natural materials to fill the televisions.

“These particular TVs are very, very suitable because they have such great ventilation,” said Ms Cosgrove.

Creative initiatives like Ms Cosgrove’s play an important role in providing a place for native bees to nest amongst growing rates of urban development.

Australia has over 2000 known species of Indigenous bees, including the solitary bee, semi-social bees and social bees, all of which are integral for healthy biodiversity.

Indigenous bees play an important role in Australia’s biodiversity by being effective pollinators of many indigenous flowering plants.

Native bees also assist in the pollination of various agricultural crop species and are therefore integral to food security, particularly in light of the threats to honey bees.

Bee Aware Brisbane’s Dr Tobias Smith said, ‘by encouraging them back into the landscape, by making urban environments friendly to native bees, we’re going to boost their populations and a little bit might leak out to agricultural areas and wild areas.”

Australian native bees are smaller than the well-known European honey bee. They are also stingless and do not produce honey.

Bees play a critical role in pollinating over thirty per cent of the world’s food supply, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables that make up a nutritious diet.

Protecting the world’s bees is an issue the international community is facing. The reasons why are varied and numerous, but the good news is there are multiple ways residents can encourage the return of native bees to suburban areas. Planting more flowers and avoiding the use of pesticides are the simplest ways.

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Alicia                                            Jooste
Author: Alicia Jooste

Alicia worked at Planet Ark in 2016.

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