December 26, 2009 at 7:06 am #250921
We’re picking up a hive of native stingless bees next weekend and trying to work out the best place to locate the hive. Would like it near the house so we can see them.
Does anyone here have a hive and if so, is it the same as the honey bee hives? eg needs easterly sun in the morning, protection from rain, wind, strong sun and heat?
SonyaDecember 28, 2009 at 3:40 am #448401
Sonya, I have been hoping someone would answer. I am interested in native stingless bees for the basic reason that they don’t sting. Do they produce much honey. I am not a huge honey eater but it would be nice to have some bees about.December 28, 2009 at 4:11 am #448402
No replies as yet, but we’re going ahead with our purchase and I’ve found a great little spot for them on our deck, facing nor’east and we’ll see them every morning.
A hive will produce between 1/2 and one kilo of honey a year. I’m not sure how you extract the honey from the hive, they don’t have frames like European bees have, but I do have a hand operated centrifuge bucket with a honey comb bag, so that might be the way to go.
Apparently their honey is very strong in flavour – I’ve never tasted it though.
SonyaDecember 28, 2009 at 4:28 am #448403
Will be interesting to see how you go with them!
What have been your costs to set up?
BrendanDecember 28, 2009 at 4:44 am #448404December 28, 2009 at 6:19 am #448405
I was researching this today as we have heaps about, was going to suggest the same site as Thisildo. Please keep us posted on how it goes.December 28, 2009 at 6:32 am #448406
Will do, we’re picking them up on the weekend. I’ll take pics of them and the hive.
We’ve got them for pollination and also to learn about bees generally. We’re also getting Honey Bee Hives too.
SonyaDecember 29, 2009 at 9:35 am #448407
my understanding is that native stingless bees are not big cropers in honey. In fact if you live some where where it gets cold you should almost take no honey from them because they need it during the winter months.
TRhe honey is definitly a strong bitter / sweet flavour but I do like it very much.
The protection needed is greater that regular honey bees (european bees) but I think they can tolerate things well if there is lpleanty of food / pollen around.December 29, 2009 at 10:00 am #448408
Q6. Do native bees make honey?
Australia’s 1,500 or more species of solitary bees do not store any honey in their little nests but only collect tiny amounts of nectar to feed their young.
However, Australiaâ€™s ten species of social native bees do make and store small amounts of a delicious aromatic honey. This honey has a different, more tangy flavour than commercial bee honey and is stored by the bees in small resinous pots which look like bunches of grapes.
We do not usually recommend that people try to get honey out of native bee nests. These bees are primitive species and do not make much honey. In cooler areas they need all their honey to get through the winter months. Furthermore, if even a small amount of honey is spilt in the nest, the bees can drown in it.
However, if special techniques are used in warm areas of Australia, honey production with the social native bees is possible.
SpannerDecember 29, 2009 at 6:14 pm #448409
who you buy the bees from if they are a ecognised supplier should tell you all.
face the front of teh hive north, and place hive where it will get protection from the late morning through to afternonn sun, the hive needs to get good sun in winter particular in the morning as they won’t get moving until a certain temp’ is reeached (dunno what that is now). we created an extra surround around the box using a large zucchini foam tray and packing pink batt in between to keep the hive cool in summer and warmer in winter.
you can have them as near the house as you like. they don’t produce enough honey to collect and their hives are different than honey bee hives inside, some have split the hive (a good native bee hive should be able to be split) and tasted the honey using their fingers.
at some stage you should be able to split the hive and create another hive of bees but see the native bee experts for that help.
they will become your best pollinator, also be aware if there are cadagi gume around they collect some gum material from these weed trees and then silly enough they block off their entrance hole, which of course is to their deteriment. be aware and use small screw driver to keep entrance and drain holes clear.
need to be carefull that honey ees don’t try to muscle in on their hive can happen but ahve no express experience, it is one reason given for the demise of native bees in the wild.
lenDecember 29, 2009 at 8:08 pm #448410
ANBees on Yahoogroups is another good source of information.
I have 3 hives: 2 logs & 1 box. The logs are trigona carbonaria which seem to be quite robust & active all year round. The box is Austroplebeia australis & it’s a much less robust hive. They take much longer to come out in the mornings & in winter they sometimes wax their entrance completely closed.
I don’t collect honey from any, but I often get a strong honey smell from them so I believe they’re all doing well. All are located so that they get winter sun & summer shade. I have them for pollination & to give them homes. All have been rescued from cleared land.
They’re wonderful to watch at the hive & in the garden.January 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm #448411
We picked them up last night – they are Trigona Carbonaria bees and we put their hive under a Mango tree so they’ll get morning sun and midday/afternoon shade.
Very excited to get them and looking forward to learning more about them.
We saw some at Woodford Folk Festival – bought the book by John Klumpp on them and got to taste their honey – very tangy and this particular batch was very lemony. They produce about 1kilo of honey a year (compared to European honey bees, which produce about 75kgs a year)
Here’s a pic too,
SonyaJanuary 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm #448412
Welcome to the fascinating world of native bees. I saw a solitary bee in my vegie patch yesterday.
You may know this already but I’ll mention it in case.. Bees can handle a big move to a new location just fine, but having their hives moved a metre really confuses them. If you need to move your hive a small distance, take it to a location at least 1km away, leave it there for 2 weeks, then bring it back.January 4, 2010 at 9:28 pm #448413
Thanks Kippen, we’ve added a roof to their hive with a verandah too. We’re thinking of getting another hive now! We’re hooked.
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