FaBEEulous Guest speakers

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Dr Ngaire Hart

Dr Hart’s research focuses on saving native bees.

Ngaire says her interest in bees came about during her undergraduate studies when she was asked to design a tracking device for insects, which proved impossible given there was virtually no information on any of the 27 native New Zealand species.

So for her PhD she created special image-processing software which monitored the habitats of the bees to see if there was a drop in nests at three sites in Parihaka and Northland. She found the number of active nests reduced about 60 per cent over her seven-year research period.

Ngaire is the first Māori woman to get a PhD from engineering at AUT. She is believed to be only the second Māori woman to have the qualification in this field.

Image by Ankith Choudhary

Dr Andrew Cridge

Dr Cridge's research focuses on how insects adapt to changes in their environment.

Andrew is also interested in global change biology and the impact of land use on bacterial fauna by determining the loss of bio diversity in bacterial species.

His talk at the Big Buzz Festival will focus on bees as bio security "monitors" and on his project and research aimed at detecting and tracking invasive plants by analysing pollen collected by bees in high risk bio-security areas around New Zealand.

Dr Cridge is Research Leader, Entomology Scion Research.

Image by Annie Spratt

Planting For Pollinators

Andrew Steens will share with The Big Buzz Festival audience his extensive knowledge on planting for pollinators.

Andrew will provide practical down to earth advice on everything from natives to exotic plants, he will also guide you through what to plant and when.

Andrew is a qualified horticulturist from Massey University , recipient of various horticultural accolades including medals from Ellerslie Flower Shows and author of several publications.

Image by Aidan Formigoni

Niue Bee Sanctuary

Award winning Niue Island beekeeper Andrew Cory will talk about his journey towards the creation of the first ever global bee sanctuary within the Pacific Rim.

The sanctuary is positioned on Niue Island and is the only place left in the world with Varroa free Italian bee stock, thus  Andrew is hoping to create a ‘bee bank’ which might just be the answer to global bee die-off.