There was a swarm of activity in the heart of Orange today as a colony of bees surrounded the Regional Investment Company (RIC) building in Kite Street.
Bee enthusiasts from the RIC team, John Newcombe and Michael Halls got together during their lunch break in the interest of saving bees, which are so vital to our agricultural industries and our economy.
“It was a large swarm in a potentially dangerous location for staff and people entering or walking past the building,” said John, who along with Michael made sure they had the proper protective gear. and redirected foot traffic away from the swarm.
The safest course of action was to eliminate the risk in the safest and fastest way possible, with the bees being moved to a safe place.
“The greatest importance of bees for agriculture is not only for the production of honey and beeswax, but also for their importance as pollinators of crops. Bees are a priority for food security, pollinating most of the food we eat, including plants to feed our livestock.We need to proactively preserve and manage bees to ensure greater sustainability in the agricultural industry,” said Michael.
Many RIC employees take pride in being farmers, understanding the unique challenges facing the industry, with a few beekeepers thrown into the mix.
But the question is, did John and Michael have their suits ready to go?
“It’s about being prepared with protective gear on hand in case it’s needed,” John said.
Similar to the important role of bees, the RIC also supports regional Australia and the agriculture sector’s goal of becoming a $100 billion industry by 2030.
As a federal government entity, RIC provides low-cost loans to support agricultural business growth, drought preparedness and recovery, succession and diversification.
Agricultural businesses eligible for RIC loans include primary production of grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and meat products, milk, sugar cane, wine grapes, natural fibers and edible fish. , molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants.
From July 2022, eligibility has been extended to horse breeders, turf growers, tea tree, lavender, pharmaceutical/cosmetic plant growing, nursery growers and floriculture growers ( where they were not already eligible for primary production such as windbreaks and cellar rootstock).
To see how the RIC helped a beekeeper boost his business with a low-cost loan, go to www.ric.gov.au/customer-stories.