GardenDrumAustralian Parliament gets bee hives

The hallways and courtyards of Australia’s Parliament House are always abuzz with the chatter of political classes, but the addition of three new bee hives to the grounds looks set to make a sweet impact on Australia’s corridors of power.

Cormac Farrell from the engineering company Aurecon has teamed up with the Australian National University’s Apiculture Society and the Department of Parliamentary services to introduce the hives to the grounds.

Farrell had previously kept the hives at Aurecon’s office space, but when the company shifted to new digs he had to find the hives another home. Once he started talking to the Department of Parliamentary Services, who oversee the landscape management of the parliamentary triangle, it was clear they had the ideal new home for the hives.

Farrell said a combination of good gardening culture and a range of plant species within the bee’s 5km range made parliament the perfect spot:

“The parliament’s landscaping crew have been brilliant to deal with. They maintain the gardens almost completely pesticide free and there are eucalypts, with an understory of tea tree, there is cherry blossom in spring and a big stand of argyle apple nearby.”

 

Keeping it as Aussie as possible, the new hives will feature the impressive Flow Hive technology, invented by a father and son team that set the startup world alight when they launched their invention a few years ago.

This isn’t the first time that bees have been kept at Australia’s parliament.  During the 1970s William Yeats MP kept bees at Old Parliament House after tricking speaker, Billy Sneddon, into granting him permission to keep them on the grounds by putting in the request on April Fools Day. The speaker thought it was a joke and approved it.

We’ve come a long way in the last 40-odd years, where instead of fooling the corridors of power into introducing bees to the grounds it is now openly embracing the idea. The honey from the hives will go on sale in the parliamentary gift shop and will be given as gifts to visiting dignitaries.

Check out Aurecon’s website for more.

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