Hive + Wellness Donate to Bushfire Relief in Australia

A charity called ‘Hive Aid’ was established in December 2019 in Australia as a hardship fund that is accessible to beekeepers. It was launched by the charity Rural Aid, industry body AHBIC and Hive + Wellness to support Australia’s beekeepers and their honeybees during the current drought and bushfire disaster that has been besieging the country.

The Australian company Hive + Wellness has launched a special product called “Drought and Bushfire Relief” Capilano Honey Pack and 20 cents from the sale of each 340-gram honey pack from January 1 on will go to the fund. 

The company sources honey from more than half of Australia’s 1,500 professional beekeepers for its iconic Capilano product. They hope honeybees and beekeepers will be positively impacted by this launch, especially those that are worst affected by bushfires and drought in New South Wales and Queensland.

This video is a little longer than we normally post but is only 6:11-minutes long and shows what Australian bees are suffering through in parts of Australia according to Australian ABC news:

Beekeepers have had to watch their bees suffer, their honey production drop radically, and their income decline and, in some cases, almost disappear for many months now.

The bushfires and drought conditions are causing devastation so intense that recovery will likely take many years, possibly decades.

And what about the other Australian wildlife… how are they fairing and who is helping them? Read on…

Australian Bushfires Spawn “Sewing Bee” Support Groups

Tragedy often rallies people to come together, and this is what is happening all across Australia. It is estimated that over 1 billion animals have been killed so far this season in the bushfires, and caregivers and wildlife hospitals can’t cope with the number of injured animals.

It is heartwarming to see communities all around the country helping in the best way they know how. More than 50 crafters responded to the sewing bee organized by Michelle Juhas in the rural town of Wangan in far north Queensland this week, and the community donated the use of the hall, a local fabric shop provided materials, and a café supplied morning tea.

Others are gathering in halls and shops all over Australia, bringing their own knitting needles, crochet hooks and sewing machines. In some cases, and places, they are working 18-hour days due to trying to keep on top of an “explosion” of interest, according to an animal rescue group.

We’re talking about crafting, in particular sewing. Bat wraps, koala mittens and joey pouches are some of the sewn creations that are helping injured wildlife.

This 4:02-minute video gives a unique perspective on the dire straits Australian wildlife is in due to the bush fires.

In large part it is the people from the north, like Queensland, helping the people and animals of the south this time around, since in the past the people of the south helped those in the north following times of trouble.

The sentiment is that everyone wants to help in whatever way they can, but most people cannot work on the ground. In regional areas people are community-minded and pull together in the face of tragedy, from young mothers to grandmothers, the whole country is stitching together, banding together, healing whatever wounds they can.

Bernadean Scott said she was sewing her items with love, thinking of the little animal or joey that will wear it being able to get comfortable and sleep.

About 40 kilometers away, the Babinda District Arts and Crafts Co-op has opened its doors for anyone wanting to make items for wounded wildlife. Fabric has been donated and equipment is there for people to use. For some, it is their first foray into creating animal rescue crafts. It is a small group and they hope more people will come out to join them.

“Losing our wildlife, it’s losing part of our identity as Australians, so it’s lovely just to be able to do our bit to help,” one woman said. “When we have cyclones here in the north, people help us out, so this is our turn to help people in the south.”   

Those who can’t donate money can bring in anything in their linen cupboards that they’re willing to part with, and the crafters will put the material to good use.

Agile Project, a wallaby rescue group in Cairns, held sewing bees at the craft shop, Cairns Create It, and are sending some of the crafted items down to fire-stricken areas. The store has opened its doors to all sewers who’d like to make joey pouches and they are accepting donations of old bedsheets, cotton and flannelette that can be turned into animal-care crafts.

The Animal Rescue Craft Guild was founded last April and provides resources and tutorials on social media. Their membership has exploded from a handful of people to over 200,000 on their Facebook page and group. They also administer hubs where people can send items for distribution to hundreds of people acting as animal care-givers around Australia. Many sewing patterns being used to make items nationwide were sourced from this group, which was initially focused on dogs and cats, but shifted focus due to the bushfires.

Belinda Orellana from Sydney, one of the founders, hasn’t had a chance to sew for over a month. Many of the original crew were sewers but with the thousands and thousands of social media posts to be approved and questions to be answered, emails and private messages, they are now working 18-hour days just trying to keep on top of it all. She says it is very overwhelming but it’s very humbling as well that so many people want to help.