The program has won the Communication, Education and Empowerment Award at the LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards.
The Council started the program in 2006 in an effort to boost the number of native bees in the local area.
Under the program, local residents can receive a free hive filled with Tetragonula carbonaria, a species of bee native to the Ku-ring-gai area. Specialist staff are on hand to give advice on how to manage the hive and ensure bee colonies remain healthy.
The bees produce a small amount of honey, but more importantly act as a pollinator of local plants and help continue the natural pollination cycle.
The native bee program has proven to be popular, with over 1000 hives being distributed since its inception. There is currently a waiting list and the next distribution of hives is expected to take place within the next two months.
The native bee hive distribution program is part of the Council’s overall Wild Things initiative which aims to boost native plant and animal diversity in Ku-ring-gai.
Wild Things also coordinates the Pool to Ponds program, which helps residents turn unwanted or disused backyard swimming pools into thriving aquatic habitats. The Wild Things program is funded by Ku-ring-gai Council’s environmental levy.
Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the award was ‘great recognition for our dedicated staff and our environmentally aware community which has so enthusiastically supported the program’.
“It is through initiatives like this that Ku-ring-gai’s natural environment is being enriched and protected,” she said.
The LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards are held annually and recognise initiatives by councils across NSW through the peak body for local government, the LGNSW.
For more information about the native bee program visit www.kmc.nsw.gov.au.
Media enquiries: Sally Williams Ku-ring-gai Council Ph: 9424 0982 or firstname.lastname@example.org