Words By
Laura Tuck

Interview With
Jessie Baker

Date Published
19th April 2019



This month we met with Jessie Baker from Bees Up Top – a bee rescue organisation that re-houses bees in urban homes before they face extermination.

Set in the high-rises of Auckland CBD, Jessie shares with us some bee top tips and why we should take extra care to after these little guys…

Jessie’s Top Tips:

  • If a bee comes near you…

The bee isn’t interested in you, and it’s not going to sting you unless you try and swipe it (then its natural response is to protect itself). The little sting that’s left in your skin is the bee’s abdomen – that’s why it dies after it stings you, because its body basically rips in half. If a bee lands on you, simply blow it off gently.

  • Bees love blue and purple

When planting your garden, choose lots of beautiful flowers and plants like lavender, borage and rosemary to attract the buzzy guys.

  • Don’t let a drop of honey go to waste!

How much honey do you think a bee makes in its lifetime? You may be surprised to learn it’s only one a quarter of a teaspoon. The next time you’re making honey toast and drop a bit of honey on the bench, make sure you eat it because it’s a bee’s lifetime work!

  • Don’t use pesticides on your garden

The bees will take the poison back to feed their babies – potentially wiping out the entire hive.

  • Be a hero

Bees need a lot of water to make honey, so you’ll often find them near pools. To ensure they don’t drown, throw in a few floaties like lily pads for them to land on. To revive a bee with wet wings, you can feed it a teaspoon of white (not brown) sugar mixed with warm water. This little concoction will revive the bee and give it enough energy to fly away!

Photography By Jordan Reid of J. Photo & Co.

For more information on Jackie and Bees Up Top visit beesuptop.co.nz or @beesuptop