The isolated bee population on Keswick Island, Qld, provides an important insurance policy for a vitally important species.

Story By Hannah Seward

Hidden down a coastal island track, a dozen white boxes sit carefully stacked in the shade of blue gums and tea- trees. These are the beehives of Keswick Island, an ideal location for an isolated but highly important bee colony. Situated 34 kilometres north-east of the city of Mackay, Qld, Keswick Island is 80 percent national park and 20% residential. Surrounded by gin-clear waters, Keswick and neighbouring St Bees Island form part of the 70-strong Cumberland Islands named by Captain Cook in 1770.
Experimental apiculturist (beekeeper) Roger Goebel introduced honey bees in 1985 in an attempt to create a secure, disease-free population.

This Story is from Issue #102

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2015