Turning grey to green for a rooftop bee ‘n’ bee
Thinking outside of the box is one thing, but when it comes to combating the decline of the bee – the miracle insect that enables one third of the world’s food to grow – maybe outside of the ground is the answer, reports Gail Knight.
Jack Stone, a Brisbane beekeeper, is exploring this philosophy by looking to the skies and zeroing in on Brisbane’s grey space, the hundreds of vacant inner-city rooftops that dot his city’s landscape.
Jack’s reasoning is emphatic, “What are they being used for? We’ve got all this land that’s usable. Why don’t we just use the land that’s lifted up off the ground and [is] now on the rooftops?”
With what seems a bit hard to conjure in one’s mind, Jack has put into simple practice. By activating grey spaces around the city, he has indeed created green eco-environments for his bee hives, working in conjunction with local building occupants like Carrah Jordon at recruitment company, PRA.
It fits perfectly into their existing organic rooftop garden. “There’s enough chemicals in the world that are already killing us,” Carrah says. “We probably shouldn’t contribute anymore if we can help it”
While we can see Jack’s enthusiasm in providing organically grown and harvested honey, something about his demeanour tells us it isn’t an easy road.
Admitting to the ups and downs doesn’t steel him to the disaster that is caught on camera. We can only hope that, as is nature’s powerful way, this business model and moral endeavour wins out over the mechanised, industrial, fast-paced world downstairs.
From an early yearning to work with something connected with nature, Jack acknowledges his bee affinity. “Bees are a magical creature. They are the connecting dot between nature and humans.”
He rams the message home with the statistic that 65% of Australia’s agriculture depends on the pollination of bees.
“I didn’t really choose them. They chose me.” You get the feeling that, in the future, we’ll be thankful that they did.
Grey Space is showing at the Brunswick Picture House on Tuesday 10 October at 7pm.
Filmmaker Benjamin Gerbanas and Taylor Deen will be at the screening.
Tickets and info at bbff.com.au