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Let’s Talk About Bees

February 25 | 1:00 pm2:00 pm AEDT

Join our thought-provoking panel discussion on the intersection of bees, the threat of Varroa mite in Australia, and the critical link to food security. Delve into the challenges faced by our native pollinators and explore sustainable solutions with experts in the field Anna Scobie, Kelly Lees, Diane Call and David Siyver. The panel is inspired by the delicate honey bee paintings of Deidre But-Husaim and her interest in the role of bees in our environmental systems.

Our panelists will discuss the impact of varroa mites on European honey bees in our region, what the future of beekeeping is in the region and, the opportunities this provides for native pollinators

Throughout the discussion, you will discover the role you can play in supporting these essential creatures at home through the creation of bee-friendly habitats. Engage in a conversation that transcends borders and highlights the interconnectedness of ecosystems, offering actionable insights for a more resilient and pollinator-friendly future.

We look forward to an insightful dialogue where science meets art, sparking inspiration for positive change. The Maitland City Council Sustainability team will be giving away very special bee friendly seedlings to each event ticket holder.

If you would like to be part of a positive change book into the Bee Hotel workshop following this panel discussion at 2pm. Tickets $10 per person.

About the speakers

Anna Scobie Co-Founder of Urban Hum, Artist and Art Educator

Urban Hum was a community-focused beekeeping business when faced with the loss of their 130 hives to the Varroa mite emergency response Anna remained focused on community, education and connection. Passionate about community-driven change, she harnesses the power of people through Urban Hum to spark conversations and drive awareness about environmental challenges. Anna is a dedicated, art educator and a passionate voice for artists, amplifying the work of artists to create conversations and connections. Join Anna in her journey of rebuilding, community strength, and the transformative influence of art on important discussions.

Kelly Lees, Co-Founder of Urban Hum, Sculptor and Bee Educator

Kelly has been a beekeeper for over a decade. Kelly’s journey as a beekeeper extends beyond the conventional; she has become a fervent advocate for native Australian bees, recognizing their unique role in the ecosystem. Her expertise is not only confined to the art of beekeeping but also extends to promoting sustainable practices and conservation efforts to protect these vital creatures. Kelly was involved in the Varroa Mite emergency response team and has studied and developed education material for Varroa mite management. Known for her hands-on approach, Kelly is not just a beekeeper but an engaging educator. She conducts workshops, inspiring others to appreciate and actively participate in the well-being of bees. Her workshops, like the bees themselves, buzz with enthusiasm as participants dive into the world of beekeeping, fostering an appreciation for the delicate balance between mankind and nature.

Diane Call, Native Bee Association, Newcastle Branch, Membership Officer and Assistant Treasurer and member of the Hunter Valley Amateur Beekeepers Association 

Diane has been involved with keeping bee hives since 2008 and is a member of the Hunter Valley Amateur Beekeepers Association and is on the Swarm Collection register.

Diane joined the Newcastle branch of the Australian Native Bee Association in 2022.

David Sivyer, Founder Feedback Organic Recovery

David is  a passionate social entrepreneur working to create community, inclusive circular food systems that scale as a norm within Australia.

Creating innovative, sustainable and collaborative initiatives with organisations in line with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Design, delivery and evaluation of behaviour programs, lasting stakeholder engagement and circular urban agriculture facilitator.

*Deidre But-Husaim: Bees, Curiosity and Coincidence



February 25
1:00 pm — 2:00 pm AEDT
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Maitland Regional Art Gallery
230 High Street
MAITLAND, nsw 2320 Australia
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02 4934 9859


02 4934 9859
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