Residents stung into action

Rita Richards, Rosalind Lewis and Trish Cole in front of the tree that housed a beehive. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d417830
Rita Richards, Rosalind Lewis and Trish Cole in front of the tree that housed a beehive. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d417830

Tai-Chi instructor Rosalind Lewis said her class was shocked to be told the hive in Munroe reserve in Innaloo would be destroyed as it was close to a Scout Hall.

‘We were all a bit concerned about the bees, knowing that they are so essential to our own well-being and the food we eat, so it was all a bit sad,’ Ms Lewis said.

City of Stirling parks and reserves manager Ian Hunter said the City was often called to investigate bee complaints during spring and autumn.

‘A City officer attended the location and confirmed that bees had created a hive in a tree cavity low to the ground and it could pose a risk to youngsters using the nearby hall,’ he said.

‘A City-approved contractor was then engaged to attend and treat the hive with an insecticide powder made from a natural chemical.’

UWA outreach officer at the Centre for Integrative Bee Research, Dr Barbara Baer-Imhoof, said bees played an integral role in both rural and metropolitan areas.

‘In general, bees are important for pollinating our food crop, in a city environment honeybees would pollinate the flowers and trees that are living around there,’ she said.

‘Every third spoon of food you eat has been pollinated by a honey bee, so honeybees in general are very important for human nutrition.’

Dr Baer-Imhoof said there were popular alternatives to having bee hives destroyed.

‘There are people who like to keep swarms, they are from the West Australian Apiary Society, they will come out depending on where the hive is and remove it and keep it in a bee box and try to raise it or give it to people who want to raise a hive in their own back yard,’ she said.

Ms Lewis said she hoped destroying the bees was a last resort.

‘I know as agents of cross-pollination, bees are essential to what we eat,’ she said. ‘When I was at the tai-chi class, we were a bit concerned to find the bees were being exterminated.

‘We just hoped that the City of Stirling had considered other options before taking that measure.

‘I know they can be relocated.’