http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2007/s1917445.htm

Tim Bonham provided the ABC with this stunning slideshow of the leatherwood forests and bee industry in Tasmania. Please note the opinions are those of Tim and his interviewees and do not necessarily represent those of the ABC.

Caleb Cluff
Tuesday, 08/05/2007

Tim Bonham provided the ABC with this stunning slideshow of the leatherwood forests and bee industry in Tasmania. Please note the opinions are those of Tim and his interviewees and do not necessarily represent those of the ABC.

“In 2005 I moved to Tasmania from British Columbia, Canada where clear fells are common and the forestry industry wields enormous political clout. I was told that the conservationist movement and forestry companies formed the two extremes of a polarized community. Just as you’re a Boags or Cascade man in Tasmania, you either support the forests or the foresters. I’ve never believed things are that simple and the more people I spoke with, the more of a grey area appeared.

“Einstein said without bees he’d give humans four years to live… no bees, no pollination of crops, no humans” one of them told me having just lectured me on the evils of communism. When I first went to a beekeeper meeting, none of the members appeared under 60 and I thought to myself I had the wrong room. I was told later that their youngest member is 43 and that no one is encouraging the younger generation to follow in their footsteps.

“The Government only cares about the billion dollar forestry industry and not their $2 million one. “What the Government doesn’t get is their $200 million agricultural industry goes down with us”. Their sense of futility was as palpable as their love for their bees. ‘We don’t have a problem with forestry,’ another told me, ‘we just want enough leatherwood for our industry to survive.’

“These images and audio were collected over an eight-week period in late 2005 and early 2007. I spoke with, photographed and recorded many people in the course of this project. Beekeepers, both amateur and professional, orchardists, lawyers, entrepreneurs and many others affected by this situation.”

“In the end I let Hedley Hoskinson do the talking, as he is something of an elder statesman for the industry and somewhat bee like himself. Industrious, hardworking and mostly pretty calm, but get him mad and you don’t want him in your face.”

To see the slideshow, follow this link to Tim’s website. http://www.timbonham.com

Please note this link is to a non-ABC website and as such the ABC has no control over its content.

Tim Bonham