Real World Gardener Native Bees in Living Planet

November 9th, 2013

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation
The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


Living Planet

Are there any bees sleeping in your garden?
According to Dr Tanya Latty - ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney,  native bees are often found sleeping on spent flowers, mainly native flowers of spiky plants such as the spiky Epacris puchella.
If it’s not warm enough, these small bee won’t get out of bed until much later - if at all. They often pick flowers where the colour of the bee blends really well with, and it’s often the case that native bees are found sleeping on spent or dying flowers.
Dr Latty is involved with the Urban Bee Monitoring project which will address the knowledge gap of bee conservation by urban gardeners,

The project hopes to answer 4 crucial conservation questions:
1) Which Australian native bees are present in community gardens?
2) Which garden characteristics influence native bee abundance and diversity?
3) Which plant species are most attractive to bees?
The project will generate recommendations that can be used to design bee-friendly green spaces and also form the backbone of an ongoing bee monitoring and conservation initiative."
If you see native bees in your garden we would like to hear from you.
TIP: You can help native bees by bundling together 15 - 20 cm lengths of sticks with hollow stems such as Hydrangea stems. Tie them together and hang under trees.

To help you identify native bees check out
These cute little creatures are a wonderful reason to have some spiky habitat plants in your garden.
So in the cool of the morning or close to sunset wander around and look to see what is sleeping in your garden.

If you have any questions about native bees or building bee nest boxes, why not drop us a line. Or send in a photo to or by post to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW

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