BUZZBUZZ, the new Leura village shop is all about bees and other pollinators.
Story and photos by Linda Moon
Australian Pollinator Week 2023 is 11-19 November. And BUZZBUZZ is a new shop that has opened in Leura to champion pollinators. You can too.
- The latest new shop in Leura is all about celebrating and raising awareness of pollinators.
- Without pollinators the health of the planet is at risk.
- There’s a lot that you can do to help pollinators.
What flower visitors do you owe for your chocolate bar, orange juice, smashed avo, nut trail mix, almond milk and juicy watermelon (in fact, about a third of our food supply)? You probably guessed it: pollinators.
Pollinators – for those who don’t know – are creatures that transmit pollen from the male part of flowers to the female part. Though unintentional, this action is highly significant. An essential part of plant reproduction, it enables many plants to make fruit, seeds and new plants.
Along with their vital role in our food supply, pollinators also help sustain the planet’s wildlife and the health of ecosystems.
The newest shop in Leura Mall is helping celebrate them as it opens its doors in Pollinator Week.
The creation of Joanne Day, a passionate beekeeper and former owner of Little Paris Cafe, BUZZBUZZ features unique, feel-good reminders of the value of bees and other pollinators. Along with local honey, organic chocolates and sticky chai sweetened only with raw, natural honey, there are colourful homewares, handmade jewellery, watches, potted flowers, soaps, glassware, beeswax candles, moisturisers, clothing, books and more to browse.
I’m trying to showcase as many Blue Mountains creatives as possible – Joanne Day
“There’s this wonderful woman based in Hazelbrook doing some gorgeous jewellery for me. She grows the flowers in her garden, and presses them in resin. The flowers are connected, because without the bees and all the other pollinators we don’t get so many flowers.”
BUZZBUZZ also sells bee and pollinator friendly seed packets. “You don’t have to be a beekeeper,” she says. “I’ve got so many other things in the shop.”
Joanne Day, owner of BUZZBUZZ and Sue Carney of Blue Mountains Beekeepers hope to create a buzz about bees.
Have a pollinator-friendly chat
Beyond the retail side of things, Joanne’s intention is public education and engagement. “I have a bee buddy (Sue Carney, founder and vice-president of Blue Mountains Beekeepers) working two days in the shop,” she explains. “She’s creating some amazing documents that I can hand out to people who are interested. We’ll have lots of information, things like, ‘what to do if you have a swarm’, all these reference points for people, like if you want to become beekeepers.”
Joanne has two hives of her own at her Blue Mountains home and has been practising beekeeping for nearly 10 years. “I think it will be a great place to come and have a chat,” she says. “Beekeepers, when they get together, we just talk about bees. We’re a funny lot.”
While we tend to associate bees with the European Honey Bee, there’s an estimated 2,500 different bee species (about 10 per cent of the global species) in Australia. Amazingly, a good portion of these haven’t even been named yet. And, sadly, they may become extinct before anyone discovers them.
Birds, butterflies and other pollinators
Of course, bees aren’t the only pollinators.
“I’ve also found a wonderful creative who is an entomologist and creating these museum grade specimens of butterflies,” Joanne says. (The specimens are butterflies that have passed away on butterfly farms.)
Joanne handpicks her wares to preference creatives with good sustainable business practices.
And take note local art and craftspeople: she’s had trouble locating products that showcase bats. “Bats are major pollinators,” Joanne says. “They do the night shift.”
Unique handmade beeswax candles and pollinator art, just some of the locally crafted wares at Leura’s BUZZBUZZ.
Pollinator week 2023
In the spirit of Pollinator Week, BUZZBUZZ will be gifting free pollinator info and small packets of ‘feed the bees and pollinators’ seeds to customers over 11-19th November 2023. All purchasing customers are also eligible to go into the draw for a free hamper of goodies from BUZZBUZZ.
Australian Pollinator Week is a designated annual space for raising awareness and creating helpful community actions around pollinators.
While bees (including the wild kind) do the lion’s share of pollination, pollinators cross many unique and diverse species. This includes well-known and loved critters – birds and butterflies – and less acknowledged, unsung ones like wasps (which are related to bees), some species of flies (such as hoverflies), beetles, bats, moths, some reptiles (skinks, lizards and geckos) and some small mammals like rodents and the Australian long-nosed honey possum.
Bees are in decline and need our help.
Can you help?
Pollinators badly need our help. Surveys show their populations are in rapid decline. Over 40 per cent of insect species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades, according to a review of 73 reports on declining insect populations in the journal Biological Conservation, January 2019. Species decreasing in the greatest numbers include butterflies, moths, bees and wasps.
Key causes include pesticides, fertilisers and other agricultural chemicals, land clearing and habitat destruction (especially that caused by agriculture), plus parasites like Varroa Mite.
A 2022 study by Harvard University’s TH Chan School of Public Health claimed the global loss of pollinators is contributing to 500,000 early deaths a year through reductions to the yield of fruit, vegetables and nuts. Such plant-based foods protect human health from disease.
The solution, according to the study authors, is to halt pesticide use, preserve and restore natural habitats and grow more flowers.
We can all make a difference in our own backyard. And, because we’re so deeply connected to pollinators, when we help them we help ourselves!
- Visit BUZZBUZZ and get some free info. It’s located next to the Leura carpark in the Strand Arcade.
- Learn what native plants to grow for pollinators at the Blue Mountains Wild Plant Rescue nursery workshop on November 18th.
- Join a beekeeping organisation, like the Blue Mountains Beekeepers Club.
- Learn more about bees at the Wheen Bee Foundation.
- Take part in the Australian Pollinator Count.
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This story has been produced as part of a Bioregional Collaboration for Planetary Health and is supported by the Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (DRRF). The DRRF is jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments.