Capital Region Farmers Market is the place to bee on election day (21 May), when producers swarm to celebrate World Bee Day.
World Bee Day and the popular Canberra markets are the perfect match as bees pollinate much of the produce we eat – and buy from the markets – and pollinate the crops that feed farm animals.
Capital Region Farmers Market Manager Sarah Power said the main purpose of World Bee Day events was to celebrate the huge contribution the tiny insects make to the way fresh produce looks and tastes.
“For many of our stallholders, particularly those that specialise in fruit, bees are the number one source for pollination,” she said.
“Especially within the Canberra region with so many orchards around Young and those areas, we need a healthy bee population to collect pollen and ensure fruit keeps growing.
“Pretty much anything that requires blossoms to fruit requires pollination, and basically, the only way trees get pollination here is our bees.”
Ms Power said this was why the market was so keen to help educate locals and visitors about bees’ vital role as pollinators and in food production.
She said everyone could play their part in helping with the preservation of bees by planting nectar-bearing flowers, buying Australia-made honey and hive products, or even learning how to start their own hives.
This year, Ms Power is encouraging people to visit the markets before or after they vote.
One of the key aims of World Bee Day is to highlight the threat facing bee populations in Australia and overseas with the destruction of their natural habitat, and the impact of intensive farming practices, along with pests and diseases.
The Canberra market will showcase the importance of bees with a series of events on the day for youngsters, including a honey trail scavenger hunt, bee-themed face painting, bee badge-making and a colouring-in tent. Older visitors can learn how to become involved with ACT for Bees, sample special honey-based produce and try a traditional Slovenian honey breakfast, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Hall, with bread, honey and apples from the market.
Market visitors are also encouraged to come dressed in their best bee-themed costume and have their photograph taken in front of the Farmers’ Market Hive Wall.
Bee there or be square at the World Bee Day celebrations from 7 am to 11:30 am on Saturday, 21 May, at Exhibition Park, Canberra.
More information is available online.