NATIVE BEE HIVE SPLIT Report
WHEN: Friday 8th November 2019
WHERE: St Peters Public School
– at the kitchen garden,
St Peters Street, St Peters, NSW 2044
St Peters Public School has a native bee hive adjacent to our kitchen garden. We host a hive because bees are key to the success of any garden, especially one focused on food production. The hive, installed at the school in 2016, is periodically "split". Splitting involves separating an established hive into two parts, so that a new hive can be established independently from the first. During the split, the health of the hive can be checked and some of the honey can be harvested.
Beekeeper and native bee expert Gavin Smith conducted the split of our hive in November 2017 and again in November 2019. Gavin always presents a fascinating talk about native bees, their habits, life-cycle and more. It is wonderful and rare to have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the inner workings of a hive, view its unique spiral formation, and taste some of the special native bee honey.
There are over 1,500 species of Australian native bees, some are solitary and some are social (meaning that they live co-operatively in hives). The particular species of our hive is Tetragonula carbonaria (or ‘TC’) – a small, sting-less, social bee.
We are very lucky to host a hive at our school and our kitchen garden benefits from these tiny pollinators. The hive offers fantastic learning opportunities for our students.
The new hive created from the 2017 split was donated to St Peters Community Preschool. The Preschool has a strong focus on environmental sustainability and engaging the children with nature. In 2019 the new hive was donated to Angel Street Permaculture Food Forest, a great community garden committed to sustainable food production.
Much gratitude goes to Marrickville West Community Garden for their generosity in passing a donated hive to St Peters Public School from their 2016 hive split.
Thank you to Inner West Council for generously funding our 2017 hive split, and to the Inner West Sustainable Schools Network for helping to facilitate the donations in 2017 and 2019.
Thank you also to St Peters Community Preschool and Angel Street Permaculture Food Forest for their enthusiasm to host the donated hives and to help increase the footprint of native bees in the inner west.
Kate Hafey, President, St Peters Public School P&C Association
Presented by St Peters Public School P&C Association.
All proceeds go to making our school a better place to learn & grow.