On behalf of the Australian Government, we are pleased to announce that TODAY the National Capital Authority (NCA) will install a new home for a special family of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

“The Rose Gardens are located in the Old Parliament House Gardens (OPHG), with the trial being conducted to aid in the health of the garden, and to assist and grow the population of nature’s honey makers here in Canberra,” said Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Hon. Nola Marino MP, welcomed the trial and knows just how important bees are to the natural ecology. “Not only do they assist in the pollination of plants, they are also a great guide to the general health of the gardens. As the overall population of bees face increasing threats across Australia, the installation of hives into domestic gardens is becoming of greater importance” said Assistant Minister Nola Marino.

Local apiarist Jeff Matsen from SnowGum Honey Bees, Bywong installed the hive on behalf of the NCA, and he has almost 40 years’ experience. Jeff started his own hives in 1983 in tropical North Queensland. He has experience keeping bees in hot and cold climates, coastal and inland. He holds a Diploma of Agriculture, including Beekeeping.

“When the NCA first approached me about installing a hive in the gardens as a trial and to aid in the gardens health I thought that it was a great idea. With all of the wonderful flowering plants a substantial food source for the bee’s I think it’s an opportunity to hopefully see some good results. Whilst it’s only one hive it will be very interesting to see just how much honey we may be able to collect from this hive” said Jeff Matsen.

Whilst the bees are located in a discreet part of the gardens, and are fenced in by a white picket fence the public are reminded that if they suffer from any bees allergies to be vigilant and aware that there are bees in the area.

The trial will run until 31 January 2020 in which SnowGum Honey Bees will collect, monitor and look after the hive for the duration that they are in the gardens. The NCA will be sure to update the public on the trial.