Airdate: Catalyst: The Great Australian Bee Challenge

In the two part Catalyst special “The Great Australian Bee Challenge” four families learn to raise bees, with host Paul West and experts Dr Tanya Latty and expert bee keeper Doug Purdie.

But who can produce the most honey?

We Australians share our country with one of the world’s most beautiful, fragile and industrious creatures – bees. They are an incredibly important part of the natural environment – pollinating around a third of the food we eat. While in many parts of the world bees are under threat, Australia remains a safe haven for them – for now.

In the first of two programs, host Paul West introduces four teams of novice bee keepers to these hardworking insects, and with the help of entomologist Dr Tanya Latty and expert bee keeper Doug Purdie, they learn to build thriving hives – and that means delving into the very latest science behind bee communication, brains, and behaviour.

With two teams in the city and two in the country, our amateur beekeepers encounter all sorts of challenges on their journeys. In the city, our rooftop hive is showing signs of stress; while in the country a cold, dry Spring – with no sign of nectar for the bees to feed upon – has set our rural participants back. But it’s the family in metropolitan Erskineville that throw a massive spanner in the works by moving houses. They take their hive with them – but will the bees follow?

8:30pm Tuesday on ABC.

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