Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland) World Bee Day was the 20th of May, and it is incumbent on all of us to recognise how crucial the Bee Industry is to agriculture not just in NSW but across the world.

NSW is the largest honey producer in Australia, contributing around $36 million per year to the state's economy, through the production of honey, bees wax and other products. The pollination of our crops keeps us and our livestock alive, and the value of these services to our economy is estimated to be around $5 billion per year. With an estimated 9,809 hives reported to have been lost during the 2019/20 bushfire season the number of bees lost is inestimable. In addition, the severe drought beforehand, and floods have also impacted on the industry.

World Bee Day provides our local communities with the opportunity to start a conversation about the importance of bees, and to acknowledge that their survival is vital to our own survival. On a local level I urge everyone to look up and plant some bee-attracting plants in their gardens or if you are on the land, offer a site for an apiarist so we can all support the bees!