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Native Bees and things

Home Forums FOOD PRODUCTION, HARVEST AND STORAGE BEE Keeping Native Bees and things

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    Saved another hockingsi last week, hopefully they will recover the damage to their hive.

    Here is a video of my bees just finishing up for the day, you can see their shadows as they politely queued up behind me. I wish I filmed their mad rush to get back in.



    Hi again, S.O.P. Interesting video… Well done on saving another hive!

    How do you manage to find the hives? Are there any indicators or signs that a log may contain a hive? The entrance seems quite small – so I guess you have to really know what you are looking for. I have heard that, if you see native bees around, their hive is generally within 500m (as they aren’t great distance flyers). I have the bees around – I just can’t find their log!


    Ok, I’m no expert but here goes. 2 types of bees, one has a messy entrance (like mine), one has a clean entrance.

    They only fly when it’s warm enough for them, they will be in any hollow structure from 50 metres up (and if you landed with the first fleet, potentially 114m up) to ground level. The one we got last week wasn’t spotted until the actual brood was sliced in half with a chainsaw, basically splitting it in 2 without the hassle of doing it yourself. This was a clean hive entrance type and it was 0730 in the morning so there was no activity.

    We have had 2 in hollow branches that have hit the ground and then we have had to clean them up. I know of 3 around my work area that I usually check on, one 1m up in an Acacia stump, one at the very ground level of an Ironbark and one in an old largish pruning cut on a tereticornis that is slowly callousing over and, I assume, eventually lock the bees out. Mine came from the top of a Tallowood that had died, wasn’t spotted until it smashed on the ground.

    I know of one inside of a tumbling compost bin and heard a story of one being in a water meter. A friend has one in an old Melaleuca piece or Paperbark. I’ve seen them destroyed by people who don’t care what they are doing.

    Now, most I’ve spotted because we are working on that tree but over time, during my jaunts and I tend to examine everything tree-related just for the sake of it, I’ve become more adept at spotting them but only when they are active as the mess (if visible) outside their hive tends to blend in with everything, or be confused with kino or sap. To find a hive with a 500 metre radius is, to use a cliché, a needle in a haystack unless of course that 500m radius has one tree in it. I’d guess there. Working with other people also helps, especially if one person is passionate about it, it tends to infect other people too and everyone starts looking for tiny flying activity.

    Just be happy in the fact that you have them. Like I said, I have locally-occurring ones (hopefully still do) and there is no way to even guess where they are coming from. Maybe one day you will be near the tree and you will spot them bustling about, but what are you going to do about it? It’s not ethical to do anything but a soft-split on them, which may not be successful, or take over 12 months to do. Plus, if honey production was your thing, Europeans are better at it but come with the one obvious disadvantage.


    Hi again, S.O.P. Thanks for the great information (on native bees). I’m really heartened to know that there are people (like you) doing their best to look out for native wildlife as they come across it (especially when it is in need).

    As for me, I’m delighted to have these interesting little creatures around. So, my only motivations (for the questions in my earlier post) are curiousity and a desire to protect their homes (where possible). Be assured, I would not dream of disturbing a naturally ocurring, well-functioning hive. After all, nature can do a much better job of looking after itself than I can 🙂


    If there is anyone around Southern Tassie on the Queen Birthday weekend in June, a woman called Lisa Moore is putting on a film at the Forcett Hall. This is the info I have:

    “The screening is purely something that I am doing because the film is such a wonderful film. It has won many awards, and is everything that the promotion material claims. It is informative, but also incredibly uplifting – leaving people thinking that they can do something to help change what is happening world wide to the bee population.

    The film will be held at Forcett Hall 1pm, Saturday 9th – Queen’s birthday weekend! Cost is $20.

    I have screened the film twice before in Woodbridge, and Huntingfield – and both audiences were really appreciative and enthusiastic. The afternoon will have not only the film, a discussion, afternoon tea and everyone who wishes can stay to work together (as in a beehive) to create formations to bee poetry taken from ancient and modern sources. The intent is to have a creative, multi-dimensional experience of bees.”



    Perhaps you could talk to your local tree loppers and see if they come across any hives that you could adopt. A friend of mine has several around her place because her hubby is a tree lopper but hates to see the hives harmed so brings them home.

    Thanks for the pic on the Teddy bear bee- I was wondering what that jolly plump fellow was buzzing around my luffa flowers.


    Hi BlueWren. Thanks for the link. I had seen a picture of Chris Fuller’s bee village before and thought it was fantastic! All the other photos in this link are also great. It’s interesting to realise that all creatures need safe homes and might need some help (including native bees and other insects)…

    I think most people enjoy creating habitat for frogs, birds or lizards. But, when it comes to insects (including the good, the bad and the ugly), it’s a different story. However, in theory, if the insects are around, then other (more popular and likeable) creatures are also around…

    I wonder if one of these “towers” or “villages” would work as a decoy – to lure the enormous number of mud-dauber wasps that love to build their (messy) nests all over the eaves and window frames of our wooden house. Might be worth a try one day…



    Wow, what a fantastic photo! They are so talented.

    We have lots of Carpenter Bees here and a few stingless natives but i’m not sure where they are living.

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