Let’s make our gardens buzz with life
Published on 18 January 2021
The people of the Peninsula have voted for a mascot to represent our Gardens for Wildlife program and the Blue-Banded Bee buzzed its way to the top spot in our recent poll.
The Blue-Banded Bee gets its name from the striking metallic turquoise bands running across its golden and white fluffy body.
This little creature is a big help in your veggie garden. It performs a particular type of pollination known as ‘buzz pollination’ or sonication where it grabs onto the flower and shakes its body rapidly. Certain plants will only release their pollen when ‘buzzed’ this way, including tomatoes.
A bonus of having this tiny fuzzball in your garden is they are solitary bees and don’t move around in intimidating swarms. Rather they live solitary lives in the crevices of mudbricks or sandstone rocks or little burrows in clay type soil. You can make or buy a bee hotel to make them feel extra welcome.
To attract the Blue-Banded Bee, you can plant Brachyscome, Flax lily, Hardenbergia, Hibbertia and native rosemary in your garden. Some herbs and vegetables they are known to frequent are lavender, borage, chilli, lemon balm, sage (Bog Officianalis), thyme and tomatoes.
Expression of interest: Local artists
Are you a creative with a knack for illustrations residing on the Mornington Peninsula? We are looking for an artist to prepare an illustration of the Blue-Banded Bee, to be incorporated in our Gardens for Wildlife logo.
The successful artist will be awarded a fee of $1,500 upon completion of the project. To obtain the brief and register your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications close 15 February 2021. Artwork must be completed by 22 March 2021.
Quote attributable to Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Despi O’Connor
“Gardens for Wildlife is part of the Shire’s Biodiversity Conservation Plan.
“The Blue-Banded Bee will inspire residents to plant native plants in their gardens. Planting native or indigenous plants is beneficial for your garden as you create a welcoming habitat for native creatures.
“Another bonus is native plants are resilient and don’t require too much work or water.”
Mornington Peninsula Shire acknowledges the assistance of Gardens for Wildlife Victoria and founding program Knox Gardens for Wildlife.