Brisbane Local Food

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Bees - native and honey


Bees - native and honey

I own two native bee hives myself of Tetragonula carbonaria and a (as at Sept 2013) top bar honey bee hive, and while I'm am so far from expert it's not funny I do love to learn more about bees and the benefits they provide us.

When I was a child at primary school we had our own honey-bee hive and the local bee keeper would come by regularly and we would all gather around while he showed us how to look after them and gather the honey.

We have members on BLF who are very into bees, both native and honey and I hope they will share their knowledge here. I got a little frustrated trying to find past postings so thought one spot for it all would be better.

I find a lot of articles about bees and will post them here, nice and tidy in one spot, making them easier to find.


Members: 36
Latest Activity: 5 hours ago

Discussion Forum


Started by Christa. Last reply by Elaine de Saxe on Friday. 8 Replies

Bee Expo 2016 - Photos

Started by Stevo. Last reply by Lissa Sep 13. 6 Replies

Native Bees at The Ekka

Started by Elaine de Saxe Aug 2. 0 Replies

Neonicotinoids in Australia

Started by Lissa. Last reply by Rob Collings Jun 2. 1 Reply

Fake Honey

Started by Barbara Tealby. Last reply by Lissa Nov 21, 2015. 6 Replies


Started by Lissa. Last reply by Susanne Oct 10, 2015. 3 Replies

Lending out native stingless bee hives

Started by Dave Riley. Last reply by Lissa Sep 20, 2015. 7 Replies

Pollinator Link - Brisbane

Started by Stevo Jul 3, 2015. 0 Replies

Blue Banded Bees

Started by Elaine de Saxe. Last reply by Stevo Jun 5, 2015. 4 Replies

Winter and your stingless bee hive

Started by Lissa. Last reply by Stevo Jun 5, 2015. 1 Reply

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Comment by Christa 5 hours ago

That link has good info, Dianne, thanks for looking.  There are a few more plants on my wish list.  My aim is to feed native bees and also solitary bees. As honeybees have a much greater flying radius in area, it must be easier for them to source their food.  

Comment by Dianne Caswell 8 hours ago

I found this article whilst looking for info on Bee Food, I know it says Melbourne but the plants and flowers they mention grow almost anywhere. -

Comment by Lissa 9 hours ago

My Top Bar honey hive is for sale folks. Anyone interested please PM me. 

Comment by Dianne Caswell 20 hours ago

I have very happy Native Bees at the moment, the Rocket is flowering like there is no tomorrow. I was going to cut it back but there were so many bees enjoying themselves in amongst it as well as with the Alyssum, Lobelia and Broccoli Flowers.

Comment by Susanne 20 hours ago
I never heard it put like that before, thanks Elaine.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe yesterday

The greens which are Lettuce-related are daisy family and are wind-pollinated without any nectar so not attractive to any kind of bee. The greens which are Cabbage-related (rocket, broccoli, asian greens e.g.) will flower with those lovely yellow flowers much loved by the ANBees.

Comment by Christa yesterday

Thanks Stevo, we do live on a suburban block just under 1/4 acre. The block next door has been sold and their backyard completely stripped of trees and shrubs etc. and looks a nice mess.  It should be replaced by 2 large buildings.  So I will have to make sure that I have enough for my native bees.  At the moment we have young fruit trees in wicking bins and some fruit trees in the ground.  There is an old callistemon and neighbouring duranta within reach.  By honey myrtle do you mean Melaleuca armillaris, and I will try and grow a Grevillea Moonlight if I can get one. My last rosemary died in a wicking pot, it was too wet.  

Even though we don't eat greens (medical reasons) I might grow some and let it go to seed.  Thanks for help you have given me some ideas. 

Comment by Stevo yesterday

Hi Christa, Do you live on a suburban block? I'm sure there'd be plenty of supplies for them in your neighbours yards. You can keep an eye on the health of the hive by the amount of activity and also the weight. If you know the weight of the empty box and weigh the total every now and then. Here's a page I have on plants for bees...

here's a quote from the page "Abelia, Butterfly Bush, Bottlebrush – Callistemon, Gum Blossom, Spider Flower, Lavender, Tea Tree, Honey Myrtle, Rosemary, Daisies, Grevilleas, Salvias, Roses, Duranti

If you have a vegie garden you can let the plants go to flower. Bees like things like Shallot flowers, Tomato flowers, Macadamias, Mangos, Watermelons, Lychees, Strawberries, Citrus, Avocados"

Comment by Christa on Friday

Hi Stevo,  looking for a year round list of plants mainly for food source for stingless native bees T.carbonaria, I have Tim's book and it is great reading and I notice that the bees travel up to 500m for food source.  As I do not grow grevilea, green mustards, green leaf veggies etc, are plants like large Abelia, macadamia, plenty of salvia, enough for food plants. Hate to think the little blighters go hungry.  They are hard to follow around the garden.  

Comment by Stevo on Friday

PS. if anyone wants the Tim Heard book, or Native Bee Ag Guide, I have some I can pass on at cost price and bring to Garden visits, or pick up from my place (avoid that evil postage cost)


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