Habitat loss is one of the greatest threats to bees and other pollinators, with increasing urbanisation, along with severe bushfires and floods, reducing critical areas where bees forage and breed.
A new tree grants program is helping reverse this loss, providing small community groups across Australia with the opportunity to make a big difference for bees.
The Trees for Bees Community Tree Grants program is offering grants of up to $500 to community organisations, schools, sporting clubs, gardening clubs and environmental groups to plant pollinator-friendly trees and shrubs in their local area.
The Trees for Bees Community Tree Grants is being run by Wheen Bee Foundation in partnership with Carman’s and has been launched as part of the celebrations for World Bee Day on 20 May 2023.
Wheen Bee Foundation CEO Fiona Chambers says the grants will increase vital habitat for bees, while also raising awareness of the important role these pollinators play in food security, with one in three mouthfuls of the food we eat depending on bees for pollination.
“The Trees for Bees Community Tree Grants will help reverse habitat loss, providing critical food sources and breeding habitat for bees,” Ms Chambers said. “It also helps raise awareness within our communities about why planting pollinator-friendly trees is so important.
“It’s a great opportunity to show people how individually we can make a difference, and collectively we can scale that impact.”
Carman’s General Manager of Marketing and Innovation Jed Simpfendorfer says joining forces with Wheen Bee Foundation and sponsoring the Trees for Bees Community Tree Grants program was an obvious move.
“We share the same passion for supporting Australian communities and the importance of sustainable bee-friendly habitats,” Mr Simpfendorfer said.
“This planting program will contribute to healthier bee populations to help support our suppliers and their local communities.”
Twenty grants are available with applications open to community organisations, not-for-profits, school groups, Landcare groups, sporting and gardening clubs and sustainability groups.
Applicants will be judged on their proposed project’s benefit to pollinators, the area covered and community impact.
Ms Chambers said it was great opportunity to partner with Carman’s, a company that shares the Wheen Bee Foundation’s values and was willing to roll up its sleeves to help bees.
“Carman’s has a genuine interest in making a difference for the environment and for our pollinators,” Ms Chambers said. “This helps us to talk to a whole new audience about the vital role bees play in our lives, and support them to take action in their gardens and community areas.”
Applications are now open and close on 31 July 2023, 5pm AEST.
To apply for a Trees for Bees Community Tree Grant, visit wheenbeefoundation.org.au/communitytreegrants.