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We started The Urban Beehive in 2010 to support the honeybees that do their critically important work in urban Sydney.

We put beehives in backyards, community gardens and on rooftops across the city; from Bondi to Marrickville - even the Botanic Gardens, the bees are enjoying some great views! And our hives are happy and healthy.

But internationally, bees are in drastic decline, with whole populations being destroyed overnight, as a result of introduced threats. Our ultimate goal in urban beekeeping is to help protect local bee populations against these threats; and to raise awareness of two in particular:

Threat #1
The parasite Varroa Destructor (more info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroa_destructor) is a flea-sized mite which attaches to bees, weakens them, and spreads a virus that can kill whole colonies. Varroa has devastated European honeybee populations in every country where it's been introduced; an ecological solution is yet to be found, despite some countries having the mites present in beehives for over a decade.

Threat #2
A phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (more info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder) is the second major killer. Its causes are still being debated today - pesticides, pathogens, environmental stresses have all been cited. Whatever the cause, it has resulted in worker bees mysteriously dying out, to a point where commercial hive numbers are dwindling, and wild European honeybees have all but disappeared. This is disturbing news for the natural pollination of crops; in fact, agriculturally, economically and ecologically -- it's catastrophic.

Australia - so far, so good
Australia is in the lucky position of being the last continent free of these destroyers. (Even New Zealand has Varroa.)

The Urban Beehive wants to put beehives all over Sydney - to boost natural pollination and to help maintain the genetic diversity of our honeybees before it's too late.

We do this by capturing feral bee swarms to populate our beehives (where possible), rather than purchasing packaged bees or queen bees from breeders. In this way we help protect the wild bee genetic lines which need strengthening in case one day the worst happens and Varroa or some other pest infiltrates our borders. We're also offering the community a service: re-housing honeybees which otherwise might be destroyed.

Would you like to learn about urban or rooftop beekeeping?
Click here for info on our courses.