The knowledge gained from 10 years of working with beekeepers, farmers and scientists has gone into the recent release of the comprehensive Handbook for Planting Trees for Bees on Farms, with beekeepers and their honey and pollen gathering workforce set to be the big benefactors from the free publication.
The Trees for Bees Research Trust recently released a free PDF version of the book, available via their website, along with a limited run of softcover books.
While the Trust’s work has always been freely available, the new release collates into one manual key information on 10 different types of plantations: riparian protection; land stabilisation; shelterbelts; paddock shade and shelter; native bush biodiversity; roads, avenues, and laneways; amenity; edible plantations; apiaries and beekeeper yards; and mānuka plantations. Each plantation type is described with examples, illustrations, advice, and plant lists. Thus, making a range of planning and planting information easily accessible.
"It's a useful tool to assist farmers support the bees, and incorporate into their on-farm planting for biodiversity and other environmental benefits that customers are now demanding,” says Dr Angus McPherson, Trees for Bees farm planting adviser and trustee.
Since 2011, Trees for Bees has planted over 75,000 bee forage plants in 32 demonstration farms throughout New Zealand.
"We show farmers how to incorporate a low-maintenance bee forage planting plan into planting they’re already establishing to increase production and improve their farmland," McPherson says.
"We aim to help build more resilient and sustainable farms by taking the best possible care of our star performer – the honey bee.”
The Handbook for planting trees for bees on farms is available as a free PDF on the Trees for Bees website.