Barossa's newest hotels are for the bees

CREATING: Youth Environment Council students Caitlin and Harrison hope these bee
hotels created at Tanunda Primary School will boost local biodiversity. Photo: Supplied
CREATING: Youth Environment Council students Caitlin and Harrison hope these bee hotels created at Tanunda Primary School will boost local biodiversity. Photo: Supplied

In a unique example of working with nature for the common good, some 43 native bee hotels have been created for placement within the Tanunda Urban Forest project.

The event was the brainchild of two Youth Environment Council (YEC) students, Harrison and Caitlin, as part of similar YEC Regional Events being held across SA.

YEC student Harrison highlighted the importance of this project.

"Native bees are significant pollinators for our natural ecosystems," Harrison said.

"It is for this very reason that Bush for Life and the Tanunda Woodlands Group are so pleased to be receiving some of the bee hotels for this site."

The bee bundles are made of lengths of locally sourced bamboo, vine canes and Common Reed to serve as nesting sites for solitary native bees.

The Youth Environment Council of SA is a joint initiative of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR) Natural Resources Management Board and the Department for Education.

The YEC provides school students with a platform to find their voice in order to drive projects that tackle environmental and sustainability issues.

The native bee bundles (hotels) were created by 60 Year 7 students from Faith Lutheran College and Tanunda Primary School in a workshop at Tanunda Primary School.

Both schools are supported by the AMLR NRM Board through NRM Education, which is funded by the NRM levy.

The bee bundles will be donated and placed in trees in the Urban Forest precinct, which comprises the collective greenspace around The Rex, off Magnolia Road, the adjacent heritage-listed Native Pine woodland as well as the two local schools.

NRM Education officer Melissa Allery from Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges said two recent echidna sightings along Magnolia Road adjacent to the Tanunda Urban Forest precinct was no coincidence.

"Thanks to the growing amount of greenspace in this area, it's turning it into a biodiversity hotspot as well as having a local cooling effect," Ms Allery said.

"The placement of over 40 native bee hotels into trees in this precinct will add further biodiversity to the Urban Forest site."

Barossa Council Mayor Bim Lange said it was pleasing to see the partnership between local schools and environmental groups.

"The Barossa Council is committed to ensuring environmental and agricultural sustainability," Mayor Lange said.

"It's great to see everyone working together to ensure our local ecosystems continue to support native flora and fauna now and into the future, particularly as we know how important this is to our long term environmental sustainability."