Bee Friendly Hall

Australia’s first bee friendly village

Hall Honeys and ACT for Bees and Other Pollinators staff with handmade native
bee hotels. Source: Hall Honeys

If you walk the streets of Hall, you’ll see front yards full of pollinator friendly plants with signs that proudly proclaim they’re a ‘Bee Friendly Garden’. In a remarkable community initiative, Hall has become Australia’s first ‘Bee Friendly Village’ — but what does that mean, and how did it come about?

What started in 2018 as a small group of Hall Village beekeepers eventually expanded to become the Hall Honeys — a group of local beekeepers, environmentalists and concerned citizens who appreciate the important role played by pollinators.

A discussion about improving the gardens in the main street sparked the idea of establishing Hall as a ‘bee friendly’ jurisdiction — that is, one that actively works to support pollinators through pollinator-safe planting, community education and the promotion of bee friendly practices.

The group resolved to develop and implement a ‘Bee Friendly Community Charter’ with the aim of promoting the health of bees and other pollinators in Hall as well as setting an example that might be emulated by other communities. The charter was developed with the assistance of ACT for Bees and Other Pollinators.

A native bee hotel in Hall. Source: Hall Honeys

The next step was to engage the residents of Hall to gain their support. The Hall Rotary Club agreed to sponsor an initiative to inform the community and establish a register of ‘Bee Friendly Gardens’. Meanwhile, Hall Village Men’s Shed members embraced the challenge of constructing 100 native bee hotels to provide habitat for native bees and other pollinators. The effort started with a review of literature on what makes a good ‘hotel’: size, wood type, hole size, depth, and location are all important, and ease of construction was also a factor.

Some experimentation with designs and materials resulted in the “Bee Block” — a unique design using recycled hardwood timbers with a distinctive colour palette for the bee block roofs. Each block is numbered so that eventually the community can engage in some citizen science monitoring of their use.

Once the native bee hotels were ready, Hall Rotary hosted a ‘Bee Friendly Garden Sizzle’. Native plants, ‘Bee Friendly Garden’ signs, bee hotels, and information pamphlets were provided to all interested households. The response was astounding — nearly every household participated and signed up.

Public bee friendly signage in Hall. Source: Hall Honeys

Since that initial event, the Hall Honeys have undertaken a range of projects to improve habitat and food for pollinators in the Village. Grants from both the ACT and Federal Governments have supported the establishment of bee friendly gardens along Hall’s central street, and 20 native bee hotels have been installed in the Hall Reserve. In 2022, volunteer staff from CapGemini and Salesforce turned out in force to create a new bee friendly garden on the corner of Loftus and Victoria Streets.

Hall’s Bee Friendly public gardens include signage with a link to online resources that educate visitors to the Village about pollinators and, hopefully, engage them in the mission of improving our environment.


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