Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gums and bees - Botanical

W&N watercolour and ink on Bockingford 300gsm - 8" x 12" unframed 
 
Eucalyptus is the most widely planted hardwood genus in the world, covering more than 19 million hectares. South Africa relies heavily on plantations of exotic forestry species, particularly Eucalyptus, to meet its timber needs.

Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees and shrubs belonging to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. There are no indigenous eucalypts in South Africa, but they play an important role in our ecology, especially to the Bee-keeping industry. Bee-keepers need a supply of forage (food) for their colonies throughout the year. Because Eucalyptus flower at various times of the year, they provide a constant and reliable flow of nectar and a source of pollen, making them essential to the bee-keeping industry.

South Africa’s honey bees are under threat. They face diminishing habitat and forage resources, attack by the Varroa mite pest and American Foul-brood disease, pollution from pesticides, and stress from being worked hard to provide a pollination service. For honey bee populations to withstand these stresses, a healthy diet is critical for a fully-functioning immune system.

So next time you drive past a Eucalyptus tree, give a thought to the important role this tree plays in our landscape.

ITEM ID : GumsAndBees
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

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