Building on the Buzz: Community Learning about and Valuing Native Australian Bees

By David G. Lloyd and Jenny Deans.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Concern for the plight of the honey bee, likely caused by human activity, prompted three community groups in the Adelaide Hills to collectively run a series of events—a film evening, lecture and workshops—to promote an understanding of the ecology and the value of Australia’s native bees. An action research approach has been used to develop and present these events. The purpose of the study is to illustrate and promote the value of grass roots community engagement that assists residents’ understanding of the local ecology, contributes to their personal well-being and encourages actions that enhances the health of the local environment. We describe here that journey and in particular the evaluation of a native bee workshop using an integral framework that values both the needs of native bees and the humans who took part in the programme. This research supports the notion that an understanding of the ecological value of Australian native bees motivates community members to act to support the conservation of native bee habitats and enhance their own connection to place, a necessary attribute for sustainability in the Anthropocene.

Keywords: Sustainability, Connecting to Place, Humans in Natural Environments, Local Ecosystems, Learning and Acting

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Volume 12, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.1-33. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.427MB).

Dr. David G. Lloyd

Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Education, University of South Australia, Stirling, South Australia, Australia

Jenny Deans

Member, Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group, Crafers, South Australia, Australia