While much of today's bee activism centres on protesting actions that negatively impact bees, it's not all about fighting the threats. Julie Armstrong, an educator, 'voice for the bees', and founder of Canberra-based ACT For Bees, says taking a more positive approach has helped her to raise awareness and boost morale as a bee activist. 'It got a bit depressing talking about pesticides and how bad they were, so we decided to focus instead on what we can do rather than what we can’t do,' says Julie.
Julie founded ACT For Bees in 2014 after returning from a trip to Europe, where she noticed a lot of conversation around colony collapse and the banning of neonicotinoids. 'There were really huge changes going on there, so when I came back to Australia I started thinking a lot about what is happening to bees,' she says.
Despite having no experience with beekeeping, her work as a teacher and a love of nature ignited her passion to affect change. 'We’re not scientists or ecologists, we're educators,' says Julie. 'But we really felt that we – and anyone else – could make a difference.'