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Author Topic: Australian native stingless bees  (Read 4386 times)

fairdinkumseeds

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Australian native stingless bees
« on: November 27, 2013, 04:20:44 am »

Here are some native bees from around here.
The dudes in the log are great pollinators, and their honey is delicious but a bit sort of like tannin, astringent.
If you eat a lot it goes straight through you, but its very medicinal.
The best stuff for rooting seedlings, and just as good as powdered hormone in my opinion.
They are very small and under threat from the imported European and they have all the same issues that the euro is having.
Poisoning from farm drift and insect attack of the hives are big issues.
Their hive setup is completely different, and I reckon they are more like an ant that makes honey and flies if you get my drift.

They don't sting but they do bite a bit. Its not real bad though, no worse than a normal ant and doesn't last long at all.
I'm going to get a hive soon with any luck and will post pics.

Heaps of data here>
http://www.aussiebee.com.au/beesinyourarea.html
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fairdinkumseeds

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Re: Australian native stingless bees
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 02:52:19 pm »

Australian native bees~sugar bag, doing their thing at my place.

I will add an extension over time and make them go through a narrower and narrower entrance, then eventually a short pipe.
I will do this by building up tree resin around the currently wide entrance.
The tree resin is a natural insect repellent which keep the ants and other insects away.
Native bees also occasionally collect bitumen from roads and perished rubber from windscreen wipers to do the same thing.

Once they have got used to that narrow entrance, and it starts to look like a pipe or funnel, I will then add a new hive box on the end.
Any luck they will get sick of going all the way into the box, out the back of the box, then into the tree hollow hive.

Then, at least in theory, they just build a new hive in the box and I can remove and relocate it elsewhere on the property.
The original hive in the tree should bounce back fine and I can then start the process again, in theory..
Will update my progress as I go along.

Sorry no vid, won't load and not a tech savvy dude so will try again later I guess...
Just get this every time>>>
Server Error
404 - File or directory not found.
The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

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Sunshine

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Re: Australian native stingless bees
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 10:53:09 pm »

Are these the bees that made the honey you sent me a while back? Goooood stuff.  ;D

How do you know the bees are collecting bitumen and old rubber? It's very common for them to gather sap from trees and to mix it with wax to form a pliable putty that they use to seal cracks - called propolis - which is used in turn by us human thieves in stuff like cosmetics on a large scale and as an antimicrobial on a smaller scale. I've never heard of them using non-plant sources to make propolis, though.

I have quite a bit of the stuff saved up from my trips inside my hive. Smells like cinnamon/dirty ass/sweat/sweet. LOL
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 10:54:12 pm by Sunshine »
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fairdinkumseeds

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Re: Australian native stingless bees
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 09:10:30 am »

Quote
Are these the bees that made the honey you sent me a while back? Goooood stuff.  ;D
Those ones were from these ones>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetragonula_carbonaria

Where as my hive is these fellas>>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigona_hockingsi


Quote
How do you know the bees are collecting bitumen and old rubber?
See them doing it all the time, its a pretty common thing with this species of bees.

Never seen it myself, but apparently they will strip tacky half dried house paint and other stuff like silicone, expanding foam etc.
The hydrocarbons or toxic vapors/solvents seem to attract them to a degree, so the builders and pro beekeeping folks tell me.
Be some vids on utube etc I'd say?


I just tried loading my vid and a couple updates of me adding an "education" box. I guess you can't upload to the forum still due to past spamming dramas?.
Do I have to load to reddit then link to it? I though that drama with spammers was over and the forum was fixed...

If not what am I doing wrong? I just get 404 directory not found etc.

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GrowerAndaShower

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Re: Australian native stingless bees
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 04:40:27 pm »

Have you tried uploading it to Youtube and linking the video instead? I haven't been here very long, but those are the only videos I've seen on this forum(and most of them are songs from Mangrove :P)

fairdinkumseeds

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Re: Australian native stingless bees
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2022, 01:27:08 am »

Many years later and I have the method sussed now.
Now commonly called an "education" it is a simple method of propagation/farming Australian native bees.

Find a hive in a tree. If there are multiple entrances block all of them except the main one. Tree sap/resin/clay/mud/gaffer tape, whatever you have at hand.
Build 2x small square wooden boxes, drill a ~12mm hole in two opposite ends and connect them.
You now have a single shoe box size rectangular box that you can look through from one side all the way down the middle and out the other end.

AT NIGHT WHEN THEY ARE SLEEPING, attach the box to the tree hive and block all escape routes except the box.

The next morning bees leave the tree hive, they are forced to travel through the box to compartment one, then compartment two, then they leave and forage. On return a small number will not be able to figure out how to enter and they will unfortunately die.
This number is insignificant and due to the very short life of these foragers anyway within a week the all rest will have it sussed.

When they return they travel through compartment two, then compartment one, then back into the tree hive where their honey larvae and queen lives.
They have no other options, and this is a long tedious journey for them to make.
Because of this they will then move a large % of bees permanently into the box as the route is shorter.
They will also increase their numbers to fill the new hive space.

In 6-12months time you can remove the box, harvest a small jar of honey for yourself and place that now colonized hive box in a new area. The bees inside will make a new queen and now you have a new bee farm.

A month later you can place a whole new box on the tree hive and you can place another whole new box on the hive you have removed as well.
In 6-12months you will have 2 more hives to split and harvest from.
Next time you will have 4hives.
The original tree, the first hive box, and now two more hive boxes as well.

Split them again now you have 8hives.
The original tree, the first hive, two second generation, and four third generations.
You can then sell or give away excess hives for other folks to do the same.

Every native bee hive only makes a small amount of honey, but it is awesome, it is free if you scavenge timber, the bees don't sting, and you never remove or harm the original hive in nature.
You are actually increasing their numbers!

With the massive amount of dramas impacting on the European bees, these guys are a great sustainable pollination alternative.
With "education" propagation it is a sustainable low impact way to farm a little honey while helping increase pollination in your local area.
If the whole hive collapse issue continues with European honey bees, lots of folks growing these guys will help ensure our crops survive.

If you are Aussie based I urge you give it a crack.
If you aren't AU based I urge you to investigate your local insect population as many Aussie folks don't realize that these "little black flies" are actually a native bee that makes honey.
Maybe you have a similarly unexploited species in your country/region, that no-one else has bothered really looking into?
Honey hidden inside a tree isn't visible, and from the outside it just looks like greasy black flies and tree resin.

Discovering a new sustainable source of honey/sugars is a pretty major thing for humanity, and that's gotta be worth a few hours cruising around the bush looking at cool little mini critters...





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ONandONandON

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Re: Australian native stingless bees
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2022, 01:09:10 am »

wow, excellect easy eco-friendly method! thanks!! it's way better than that "build a box and hope bees take to it"
i'll definately try your method if i ever find any stingless honeybees.. or maybe just the regular stinging honeybees.
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fairdinkumseeds

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Re: Australian native stingless bees
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2022, 07:33:01 am »

Trialling out with a feral tree hive of European honey bees too atm and so far it absolutely does NOT work as intended. The tree is forcing them to to use the boxes as an entrance as expected, but it is also really making them SUPER angry, and they will not calm down!
It has been a few months now and before I put the box on I could stand next to the entrance and they would come and go without any issues. Very peaceful.
Since the box has been attached you can't get anywhere near them and if you try individuals immediately repeatedly buzz your face/warn you, and if you don't leave the area immediately they set off the rest who all come barrelling out on mass. Bit hectic...
Same deal at night but they are easier to see and you can get a bit closer, but even so the risk of being Macaulay Culkin'ed is way too high vs traditional swarm capture. I can't even look inside the box to see if there is brood forming let alone seal it and relocate. Maybe they will have calmed down in 6months or so?
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