Audience abuzz for final talk

Apiarist John Graham presents the final HortTalk of the year, on the need for bees, at the Dunedin Botanic Garden Centre yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Apiarist John Graham presents the final HortTalk of the year, on the need for bees, at the Dunedin Botanic Garden Centre yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

The final HortTalk of the year at the Dunedin Botanic Garden Centre yesterday had a sting in its tail.

Garden information services officer Clare Fraser said the ninth free public lecture of 2012 concluded the eleventh year of horticultural talks.

The lectures, on the first Friday of every month between March and November, attracted between 30 and 120 people, Ms Fraser said.

The most popular talks were on sustainability, self-sufficiency and working with nature, she said.

Otago Polytechnic horticulture lecturer Kim Thomas said HortTalk was a joint effort between the botanic garden and polytechnic.

She presented the first talk in March on how the Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi Cornet drew inspiration from nature for his designs.

She and Ms Fraser had many ideas for next year's speakers and would release a programme early next year, she said.

In yesterday's talk, apiarist John Graham told about 70 people about the importance of bees and how the insects relied on humans for their survival.

"The only bees alive are the ones that we look after," he said.

Mr Graham shared tips from his 13 years of beekeeping experience, including how apiarists who were angry should not work on a hive because bees would sense the anger and sting, he said.

Another tip was to direct a hive's flight path away from the neighbours' clothesline to avoid the bees soiling their clean washing.

Questions asked by members of the audience included why bumblebees were so prevalent in Dunedin, how sardines could be used to get rid of wasps and how vulnerable native bees were to varroa mite.

shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

 

 

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