Helping repopulate the native bees after the floods
In February 2022 one of the largest floods in the Northern Rivers history inundated hundreds of kilometres of Northern NSW. It’s estimated that thousands of native bee hives and nests were washed away.
Courtney Castles, The Stingless Bee Lady, decided to help the solitary and stingless bees repopulate in her local area.
Courtney received a small grant from the North Coast Local Land Services to make and distribute almost 200 solitary bee hotels. These ~200 bee hotels were a combination of the more common bamboo and timber bee hotels, and the lesser known clay bee hotel, for burrowing bees.
Courtney was also able to purchase 16 stingless bee hives. Of these 16 stingless bee hives, 11 have been placed in the recovering Murwillumbah, so they can slowly repopulate the stingless bees in the wild. Five stingless bee hives have had eductions connected, so the daughter hives can be set up in outer areas of Murwillumbah, so that when they’re strong enough, they can repopulate these areas too. Future daughter hives will be set up further and further south where, eventually, hives will be set up in Lismore.
“I would really like to thank the North Coast Local Land Services for supplying me with the grant. Also, to everyone who donated via my Go Fund Me page and to the amazing people (including ANBA) who donated bee boxes, roofs, paint and wax. Without your generous donations, I couldn’t have achieved my goals to repopulate the native bees” Courtney Castles.
When asked how long her repopulation project will last and how many hives she’d like to repopulate, Courtney answered, “This isn’t a one- or two-year project. I can see it lasting 5-10 years with hives being set up and left for many years to come. I’d like to think, that over the next 5-10 years these hives will duplicate and repopulate hundreds of hives”.
If you’d like to keep up to date with Courtney’s repopulation project, she posts regular updates on her Instagram as The Stingless Bee Lady.