Some good advice and a new book from the ZABELS:
Winter is nearly here. It is time to prepare your stingless bees for the cold months. Consider the following:-
· Do not fiddle with your hive/s. Do not split, manipulate, and take honey, open up or anything that will release the warm air from inside the hive/s.
· Transfers from logs or other locations should not occur unless there is a critical reason to do so. We never undertake transfers until October! We never split our hives until September.
· Some people want to keep native bees in a temperate climate. Carbonaria is a sub-tropical bee. You could keep carbonaria in this temperate climate for the warm months, but move them to a sub-tropical coastal location for winter. Do this now unless you have another plan. Australis can cope with a temperate climate.
· Please provide some form of protection from the cold if you live in areas where the bees may not survive the conditions. You could do the following:-
1. Make up a polystyrene cover. Use liquid nails to hold the fabricated cover together.
2. Wrap the hive with a pet blanket.
3. Wrap the hive with a water-proof doona cover.
4. Take the hive inside at night. Remember to cover the entrance/s as you might find bees crawling over the warm floor the next morning.
5. Attach a heater box to your hive. There may be some plans/drawings on the internet.
6. Move your hive to a coastal location for the cooler months.
· We have trialed splitting some of hives twice last season. This has worked well!
· Please check the star picket fence posts regularly for stability. These might need to be driven in further if the ground is softer!
· We have un-assembled boxes available for those with some timber skills. You can save a few $$. This is a great project for the cooler months so that you are ready to split your boxed hive during September.
· The Cadagi (Corymbia torreliana) trees are budding up here already. The trees are so confused, as the frosty weather will burn the buds. Read this link http://www.zabel.com.au/cadgai-tree.html
· Another question often asked is whether people should split their hive/s. I always recommend this to be done as you will at least have backup hives if one hive fails. Do this activity between September and December. Split hives make great gifts too. There is a simple you-tube video of me splitting a hive. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8enI7950wo
· We have a supply of Austroplebeia australis and Tetragonula carbonaria in logs available now.
· Tim Heard is writing a new book on stingless beekeeping. It will be available for sale around September 2015. You are welcome to order the book now. I can contact you when I have the books in stock. There are over 200 pages with full colour photos. Price is under $35 plus postage.
· We have John Klumpp’s beautiful “Australian Stingless Bees” book available. Go to this page http://zabel.com.au/new-books.html
· Email us to request a price list of all of our bee products. We have not increased our prices for the coming season.
· We sell normal honey bee honey. The honey is untreated and straight from the hive. Bottled or bulk available.
· We sell normal honey bee hives too.
· Janine has opened an on-line store selling NEWAYS home, health and skin care products. These products are a safety-conscious alternative to the potentially harmful ingredients commonly found in mainstream products. She says WOW, they actually work. She encourages you to watch the short video at http://www.neways.com.au/company/TheHealthyHomesCompany/HealthyHomes.aspx
Her website is http://janinezabel.myneways.com.au/PersonalCare/Home.aspx