Backyard hives have taken off in Australia. But have we got enough habitat, and what does the boom in honeybees mean for native bees?

Every spring, longtime beekeeper Tony Wilsmore will start getting phone calls. Usually people see his phone number on the side of the cargo bike that he rides around the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds, tending to various backyard hives in the inner north as part of his business Suburban Bees. As their garden starts blooming and thoughts turn to outside, people want to register their interest in keeping hives.

“The first thing I do,” says Wilsmore, “is try to convince them that they should not keep bees.”

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