Australian Saverio Russo is a restauranteur and amateur bee rescuer; he’s spent the last year working to rehome thousands of native stingless bees, named Tetragonula carbonaria. Out of the more than 2,500 types of native bees found in Australia, the Tetragonula carbonaria are the only species that live in a colony and make honey. They are also just one of twelve species in the country that is stingless. Russo took a deep dive into beekeeping after buying the first hive for his son as a birthday gift. He quickly became a bee aficionado and his neighbors got into the act too. Then he founded the Billion Bees Foundation, which is Russo’s attempt to reintroduce native bees to the community and bushfire-ravaged areas of New South Wales and southern Queensland. “We’re partnering with arborists who let us know when there is a hive that can be rescued, and we save them [and] give them a chance to grow strong,” Russo said. After the hives recover, he drives them to their new homes.

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