Conservation of wild bees and their habitats is a hot topic around the world. Western Australia is home to over 800 species of native bees (and they rarely if ever sting!!), with many living in abundance in our very own Kings Park. With this in mind, WA Loves Nature, together with West Perth Local and Activate Perth, is currently developing an exciting project, Bee Scene in West Perth, aimed not only at conserving our native bees, but also activating the streets of West Perth. Kings Park receives over 6 million visitors per year. Let’s give them a reason to cross Kings Park Road and visit West Perth!
WHY IS BEE CONSERVATION SO IMPORTANT?
Native bee populations are struggling due to habitat degradation and loss. The Bee Scene in West project aims to improve habitats for our native bees and educate people about the critical role they play in pollination of our food crops.
BEE HOTELS: ATTRACTING BEES AND PEOPLE!
Bee “hotels” in urban environments are popping up all around the globe. Native and exotic plant species attract the bees to hotels. The hotels not only provide nesting spaces for native bees, they have become architectural features in urban spaces and have proven to be popular attractions for residents and tourists.
NATIVE BEES ICONISED IN STREET ART AND SCULPTURE
Bees have long been thought of as industrious, hard working creatures and have featured in art and design for generations. Currently considered to be on trend around the world, bees are a very popular feature in street art and sculpture.
NATIVE BEES = STREET ACTIVATION
The Bee Scene in West Perth project will start small with Stage 1 focussing on getting the West Perth community involved in planting suitable exotic and native plants; and creating or installing small but decorative bee hotels. Stage 2 will see us really expand the project to create a unique sense of place for West Perth. This stage will include larger, architectural style bee hotels in public areas, street art (large murals and small painted bees scattered around the area) and sculptures created by various artists, schools and organisations . A social media marketing campaign utilising the #beesceneinwestperth hashtag\ will attract people to take selfies with the West Perth bees. The art and sculpture trail can be further activated by events to attract children, families and tourists such as bee hotel making workshops, food festivals featuring foods that require pollination, and bee hunts challenging people to locate all the small painted bees. The sure-to-become iconic West Perth native bees will then become part of WA Loves Nature’s urban nature trail in 2019. The nature trail will utilise an App with some really exciting features including Augmented Reality.
Bee a Sponsor! This project will generate a huge buzz in West Perth so it’s a great opportunity for businesses to raise their profiles. Sponsors will be promoted on social media and on the WA Loves Nature trail App. Not only is there potential to create new customers, you will also be demonstrating good corporate and environmental citizenship.
Bee a Team! This project is also a great team-building opportunity for your organisation. Book a workshop to make bee hotels together or participate in a community art project.
Bee a Volunteer! Calling all citizen scientists! We would love to hear from volunteers in the West Perth community who would like to be involved.
Information courtesy of WA Loves Nature.