Building Bee Capacity for Sustainable Rural Growth
This new project will make a significant difference to beekeepers, farmers, land owners and public land managers throughout New Zealand, by providing them with the training, resources and plants to establish bee forage as an integrated component of normal planting programmes for multiple purposes.
Knowledge sharing and extension is a core component of this project, as it has been for Trees for Bees projects since 2009. Our experience over this time has shown that information can be shared very effectively through conference presentations and exhibits to raise awareness and attract interest in the project. This is supplemented by well-placed articles and research papers in the relevant sector papers. Delivery of workshops and field days, supported by high quality handbooks, are also effective in getting across some of the detail involved in planning and implementing bee forage plantations.
Much of Trees for Bees focus on knowledge sharing and extension to date has been in the apiculture sector, extending into the farming sector and regional councils where beekeepers have a close relationship with farmers with apiary sites for spring and over-wintering. Our proposed new project will expand outreach by working directly with farmer-led, farm forestry, local government and nursery organisations to extend bee forage planting more proactively into these sectors. A key component of this extension in our new project will be the development of training tools and resources through hands-on training programmes. In addition, two important resources to be produced in this new project will be the on-line Bee Plant Selector Tool to assist bee plantation designs and the mobile phone App (Android and iPhone) to extend outreach for the willow identification key that is currently being produced as an online web-based tool.