It was never a land flowing with milk, the flood plain of the Cottrell River, but honey? That’s another story entirely. The lower reaches of the river had long been home to a variety of large and unusually perceptive bee. Millions of theme made their homes in hives built mostly in the forks of tree branches, producing rivers of honey each spring when the bushland flowed.

These bees – the so-called Wary Bees – were as deadly as they were jumpy, however. While their incredible sensitivity to disturbances meant that they had usually hidden away from any danger long before it could see them, on those occasions that they were caught in the open, they would sting with a will – and the venom was among the most deadly of any insect. It caused anaphylactic shock in about 50% of all those stung (5-10 times higher than the average), and often resulted in death for children, the aged or the infirm if they suffered one.

As a result, and notwithstanding the sublime quality of their honey, the Victorian government attacked them with a combination of insecticide and destruction of their preferred breeding environment, resulting in their extinction (and also the extinction of the particular kind of gum tree they most favoured for nesting). However, the quality of “Werribee Honey” has passed into local legend, and as recently as 1998, attempts were being made to genetically engineer a sting-less version of the species. (It was shut down by an executive order of Jeff Kennett, citing fears of a ‘Jurassic Park-type incident.’)

Suburbs near Werribee:

Tarneit Tarneit Hoppers Crossing Hoppers Crossing Hoppers Crossing Hoppers Crossing
Tarneit Werribee Werribee Hoppers Crossing Werribee Point Cook
Wyndham Vale Werribee Werribee Werribee Werribee South Point Cook
Mambourin Werribee Werribee Werribee South Werribee South Point Cook
Little River Werribee Cocoroc Cocoroc Werribee South Port Phillip Bay
Little River Cocoroc Cocoroc Cocoroc Port Phillip Bay Port Phillip Bay
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *