Ausgrid bee project takes flight

ausgrid native bee project
Ausgrid Incident Manager Benjamin Lange with one of the hives

Ausgrid’s successful Australian native bee project is being expanded across the electricity network with new hives heading for the Hunter.

The bee project started in October 2019 with 15,000 stingless native bees placed at Ausgrid’s Bunnerong Zone substation at Matraville in Sydney’s south to help pollinate critically endangered flora.

Ausgrid native bee project

Ausgrid Sustainability Manger Craig Wilson said COVID-19 delayed the expansion of hives to other Ausgrid depots, but now it’s time to continue the project.

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“This week is Australian Pollinators Week and we couldn’t think of a better time to take the next step in expanding our native bees initiative to other sites across the network,” Mr Wilson said.

Ausgrid native bee project - the bees up close
The native stingless bees up close

“They may be small, but their role in the food chain is crucial with 70 per cent of the food we eat pollinated by bees.

Two hives from the original Bunnerong site will be relocated and split to create new ones. Another three hives will also be added to Ausgrid workplaces.

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The new hives will be established in the Hunter at Beresfield, Nelson Bay, Wallsend and the Upper Hunter with additional hives also planned for sites in Sydney soon.

Ausgrid native bee project - the bees up close
Ausgrid sustainability manager Craig Wilson and one of the bee hives

Ausgrid will work with volunteers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to act as beekeepers for the hives.

“Our native bee population is facing many threats. The impacts of drought and fires have caused the loss of habitats, so we’re glad to be able to help in this small way to establish new hives to assist other local ecosystems,” Mr Wilson said.