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Bees - native and honey


Bees - native and honey

Until I sold my home and garden recently, I owned two native bee hives of Tetragonula carbonaria and a top bar honey bee hive.

While I'm am so far from expert at bee keeping 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: 43
Latest Activity: Aug 9

Discussion Forum

Plans for a native bee hive

Started by Andrew Cumberland. Last reply by Valerie Aug 7. 1 Reply

Native hive splits - lessons I've learned

Started by Andrew Cumberland. Last reply by Adam Baker Jul 31. 1 Reply

Hive Haven

Started by GayleD. Last reply by Lissa Jul 15. 9 Replies

SNB hives available - Brighton (Greg)

Started by Lissa. Last reply by conrad maharaj Mar 8, 2017. 9 Replies


Started by Lissa. Last reply by Lissa Jan 19, 2017. 6 Replies


Started by Lissa. Last reply by Lissa Jan 6, 2017. 5 Replies

My native bees are sleeping rough!

Started by Gwenneth Lippiatt. Last reply by Lissa Dec 18, 2016. 2 Replies

African Tulip Tree - Bee Killer

Started by Rob Collings. Last reply by Phil Nov 12, 2016. 6 Replies

Native Bees - Austroplebeia australis

Started by Dianne Caswell. Last reply by Dianne Caswell Nov 7, 2016. 5 Replies


Started by Christa. Last reply by Elaine de Saxe Oct 22, 2016. 8 Replies

Bee Expo 2016 - Photos

Started by Stevo. Last reply by Lissa Sep 13, 2016. 6 Replies

Native Bees at The Ekka

Started by Elaine de Saxe Aug 2, 2016. 0 Replies

new SNB hive supplier in Brisbane

Started by Lissa. Last reply by Lissa Jul 20, 2016. 5 Replies

Small hive beetle - how do you deal with yours?

Started by Roger Clark. Last reply by Roger Clark Jun 4, 2016. 4 Replies

Neonicotinoids in Australia

Started by Lissa. Last reply by Rob Collings Jun 2, 2016. 1 Reply

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Comment by Lissa on May 5, 2018 at 5:27

You remember correctly Elaine :)

Bob Luttrell was most intrigued by the comb style the new bees built. Bob now owns the hive.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 4, 2018 at 21:38

And as I recall Lissa, the variety of bee which triumphed was different to the ones they took over. A hybrid too I think.

Comment by Lissa on May 4, 2018 at 20:46

This happened with my hive some years ago - they were invaded and taken over by another hive. There's a pictorial record of it somewhere, probably in my blogs. The new bees eventually carried on in the hive as usual.

Comment by Christa on May 4, 2018 at 19:07

Elaine, We could not figure out what to do, apparently after googling the problem, we learnt that swarming native bees let off a scent which attracts local hives.  We had a cloud of bees in the air in front of the entrance. The appeared to grab on to each other and hit the ground.

We turned the hose on with a soft spray and they calmed down and some must have gone home as there were less after spraying.  There are quite a few dead ones around.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 4, 2018 at 11:41

From reading posts to the Native Bee Yahoo group, stingless bees can be feisty little buggers and frequently fight other stingless bees with many deaths on both sides. I get the impression that stingless bees don't swarm in the way exotic bees do - stingless Queens cannot fly so there can't be a real swarm in the exotic bee style.

There's lots of reasons why these things happen and not all of the reasons have been found yet.

Observe them, you might see an obvious reason. Have you contacted the Zabels?

Comment by Christa on May 4, 2018 at 8:55

Native stingless bees are swarming at the entrance of our hive, is this a problem? Are there intruders of is my queen leaving the hive? 

What do you think is happening?

Comment by Lissa on December 5, 2016 at 6:05

That's wonderful Cheryl :)

Aren't they blissful little beasts to watch work. So energetic and gentle.

Comment by CHERYL SLAPP on November 30, 2016 at 16:34

I now have a Hockingsi bee hive - many thanks Scott Luttrell.  They are settling in and are very busy.  I love watching them come home with yellow nectar all around their back legs.

Comment by Rob Collings on November 10, 2016 at 16:45

Susanne, I did not know that the nectar was passed from bee to bee (EHB), very efficient, at a guess each nectar-passing-on bee would get some hydration while dehydrating the nectar into honey.

Comment by Susanne on November 10, 2016 at 16:00
Pollen and nectar they collect.
For the European bees... The pollen they collect is stored in cells in the brood box as bee bread, this protein the nurse bees eat and reprocess as 'queen jelly' feeding it to the young bee cells to build healthy bee babies.
The nectar is passed from bee to bee to reduce the water content then placed in honey cells and fanned to reduce it further before sealing it with a wax capping, honey to fill the pantry.

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