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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: 44
Latest Activity: Oct 10, 2019

Discussion Forum

Plans for a native bee hive

Started by Andrew Cumberland. Last reply by Andrew Cumberland Jan 21, 2019. 2 Replies

Native hive splits - lessons I've learned

Started by Andrew Cumberland. Last reply by Adam Baker Jul 31, 2018. 1 Reply

Hive Haven

Started by GayleD. Last reply by Lissa Jul 15, 2018. 9 Replies

SNB hives available - Brighton (Greg)

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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

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 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.
Comment by Rob Collings on November 10, 2016 at 15:44

Dianne, both Tash and myself laughed out loud when we read the Claudia GV story.

I was wishing I had a camera with me this morning, as I didn't realise that Bob was coming today (it would have been written in a schedule I guess I missed). So no photo, however, I hope to get a photo of the bag sometime in a week or so... will update when this happens.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on November 10, 2016 at 14:16

Oh, You and Claudia  are so lucky, I will never forget when at your GV, I said to her the Bees were collecting Honey from the Flowers and she sternly corrected me by saying "They are collecting Pollen and then they make the honey, so cute and so correct. Rob you had better be careful or she will know more than you soon. Did you take a photo of Rob's Bags, would love to see them?

Comment by Rob Collings on November 10, 2016 at 13:56

It was a pleasure to see Bob Luttrell at Claudia's (my daughter) Kindy this morning.

Bob has recently suppled a hive to the Kindy and was preforming a followup talk with the children, discussing the many different native bees we have in Australia, First Australian's interaction with the sugar bag (stingless) bees, natural stingless hive structure, man-made and natural hive locations, the importance of identifying bees rather than spraying them dead and much more (I had to leave as my youngest one was becoming restless).

I did not know that Bob weaves baskets!

... he was shown the technique by Aboriginal teachers, who would traditionally make the bags for honey collection.

Bob showed one of these bags to the class, a neat and well made woven basket.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on November 5, 2016 at 16:51

Dianne, Bob Luttrell has dozens of hives in his small acreage. They really are 'cheek by jowl' and are of different species. I'm sure that he has fighting swarms/takeovers now and then. You can have that with just one hive.

Comment by Christa on November 5, 2016 at 16:04

Thanks Rob, you explained it well. The details are written down and placed in my bee book with dates etc.  Thanks you for taking the time to explain.    A native bee hive would be a good learning curve for young children, especially the path between the flower and the hive and their united presence.  My grandson is especially interested. 

Comment by Rob Collings on November 5, 2016 at 15:18

Not exactly your question Dianne, but I can recall reading where someone wrote a pragmatic approach to a colony overtake scenario. 

Stronger colony invades and takes over weaker colony. Your left with 2 x strong colonies who now get along...

A possible disadvantage could be less genetic diversity in the immediate area, but I would not be losing too much sleep over that.


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