Jaime, Ahmed and Smokey chatted to Vanessa and Mat from Melbourne City Rooftop Honey. Starting off as a hobby in Vanessa and Mat’s backyard, it has since turned into a commercial enterprise. Vanessa and Mat places bee hives on building rooftops around the Melbourne Central Business District and surrounding suburbs.
|Matt and Vanessa, courtesy of milkbarmag.com|
There are 1 to 2 hives at each site. Vanessa and Mat’s bee hives is bee friendly, they ensure that the 2 bottom boxes are left for the bees thus preventing the need to feed the bees with artificial sugar syrups unlike commercial bee hives. It was certainly surprising to learn that the taste of honey differs with the location of the bee hive.
To host one of Vanessa and Mat’s bee hives, all you need to do is pay for an annual sponsorship fee. The sponsorship fee is inclusive of the cost of the bee hives, bees and maintenance. Honey is shared between the host, bees and Melbourne Rooftop Honey. Any remaining honey is sold to local businesses and individuals. Other than to enjoy the bees, hosts responsibility is just to make sure the bees have enough water.
Colony collapse disorder happens when worker bees disappear from the colony. We in Australia have been fortunate; the Northern Hemisphere has seen dramatic losses in bees. Although there is no known cause, neonicotinoid pesticides, parasitic mite and commercial bee keeping practices are thought to play a role.
Bees are very important to our ecosystem and agriculture; 1/3 of every mouthful of food is a result of bee pollination. Hence the loss of bees would certainly be disastrous! To learn more about the role of bees, drones, bee keeping and the Melbourne City Rooftop bees, don’t forget to listen to thepodcast.
You can also follow Melbourne City Rooftop Bees on twitter @rooftopbees
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