World Bee Day exists to spread awareness of the significance of bees for our survival, and encourage actions that create more bee-friendly landscapes. Nearly two-thirds of Australia’s agricultural production benefits from honey bee pollination, so the survival of the bee has big implications for food security.
Melbourne has bees woven all throughout its history and architecture, and we catch glimpses of them all throughout our walking tours. There’s no doubt if you’ve walked through Melbourne city you way have walked through these a plethora of
bees and beehive iconography and art, as they symbolise efficient industry and good agriculture, important for a burgeoning city.
Bees & Honey in Melbourne
You will see Richard Stringer’s Queen Bee sculpture at the base of Eureka Tower, symbolising the hive of the city. In the ANZ Gothic Bank, which you may have explored on our Golden Mile tour, shows an early Melbourne crest depicting a beehive and boats; and the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows badge shows a beehive, which can be seen in the Manchester Unity Building on our Lanes & Arcades tour.
Did you know there are also rooftop beehives all over Melbourne city? Thanks to Rooftop Honey, beekeepers have been working away on city rooftops for the last ten years. Rooftop Honey has an aim to bring bees back to the city and the suburbs of Melbourne; to raise awareness of the vital role that they play in our eco-systems and to be part of a global effort to help save the honey bee from the various threats of disease and human habitation.
Hidden Secrets Tours are proud to sponsor for nearly 10 years a Rooftop Honey beehive that lives atop Manchester House in Flinders Lane, and we are the happy recipients of a portion of “our” hives gorgeous honey harvest as a result. If you have been on a Lanes & Arcades tour with us you may well have made a turn at the gorgeous orange bicycle in Degraves Street and popped into Clementine’s for a Rooftop Honey tasting with us too. ( when in season)
Tucked into the Block Arcade, you are also likely to recognise Beechworth Honey, produced in Australia since the 1800s. Their Bee Cause Honey supports 1% for the Planet: 1% of the global sales revenue of Beechworth Honey’s Bee Cause range will go to not-for-profit partners that support the environment, bees and biodiversity. Beechworth Honey are also very involved in advocacy for bees and their habitats through volunteer work with both the Wheen Bee Foundation and Apimondia.
Got a honey craving now?
You can purchase Rooftop Honey, along with their range of beeswax products, candles, seeds to grow your own bee-friendly garden at home, or even sponsor your own hive, all online here. You can also purchase a range of Rooftop Honey products, including the Melbourne Bee Friendly Pack, in-store or online from Melbournalia.
And you can get Beechworth Honey along with a range of gifts, honey-imbued food and drinks, and natural beauty products from their website here. When the time is right, we can’t wait to get out to Beechworth for a day trip to further explore the region and all it has to offer.
Koko Black also has a limited edition range with Dan Hunter of Brae, featuring a Macadamia and Spotted Gum honey crumble in caramelised white chocolate. You can checkout out that range here.
Interested in learning a bit more about bees?
You can have a read of the role of bees in Australian food production via the Wheen Bee Foundation here, where you can also make a donation to fund their work.
You can also check out the award-winning documentary, Honeyland, here.
And, if you’re inspired to grow a bee-friendly garden but are limited on space, the City of Melbourne, committed to greening the laneways, has some great information about gardening for wildlife to inspire Melburnians to create space for nature in the city here, along with information about becoming involved in community gardens too.