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Author Topic: Australian stingless bees  (Read 1480 times)

Offline Barlon

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Australian stingless bees
« on: October 01, 2016, 10:28:11 AM »
Hi everyone I'm a Meliponist (stingless beekeeper) and I was wondering if any of my fellow aussies would like to learn about our native honey bees or share their experiences with them

Offline paul24

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 04:09:53 PM »
I am not from australia but we have stingless bees also in the Philippines. We have trigona biroi and trigona laeveceps.
The biroi have the same spiral brood pattern as yours in Australia.
I can't upload the image, said its too large..

Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 11:27:25 PM »
In my area we have Tetragonula mellipes and Tetragonula hockingsi but there are a fair few other stingless bees in other parts of Australia I'm planning to put up pictures after my waiting period is over as I've only recently joined this site

Offline paul24

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 01:39:59 AM »
Great il post my pics too! :cool:

Offline PhilK

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2016, 12:44:05 AM »
I've got a great little box of T. carbonaria that have been going for a couple of years now. They're really busy at the moment despite the Cadagi seeds crusted around their entrance!

Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2016, 02:49:48 AM »
I've got a great little box of T. carbonaria that have been going for a couple of years now. They're really busy at the moment despite the Cadagi seeds crusted around their entrance!

I currently have a few Tetragonula mellipes hives one of them I split from a nest that was living in a bin that was being used to store sand the bees covered up all the sand with Tar from the road works

Offline SlickMick

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2016, 07:25:50 AM »
Like Phil, I have a small box of T. Carbonaria that I placed outside my back door where we pass several times a day. They seem to have a bit of a different routine from their bigger cousins, getting up at gentle ladies' hours instead of the crack of dawn.
Both use the same area but seem to attend different flora.

Mick


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Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 12:07:41 AM »
Like Phil, I have a small box of T. Carbonaria that I placed outside my back door where we pass several times a day. They seem to have a bit of a different routine from their bigger cousins, getting up at gentle ladies' hours instead of the crack of dawn.
Both use the same area but seem to attend different flora.

Mick


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Yeah stingless bees get up later as they like the hotter parts of the day while honey bees don't mind cooler hours and they likely choose different flora due to their needs and tastes

Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2016, 12:58:07 AM »
Here's a photo of a recently transferred nest of stingless bees that I got from someone's wood grinder the small round space made it impossible to take the brood out in one piece.

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Offline paul24

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2016, 03:39:13 PM »
Do you have any commercial beeks who uses stingless bees?

Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2016, 10:21:00 AM »
Do you have any commercial beeks who uses stingless bees?


In Queensland there are a few commercial keepers but in the NT its just me and my bees, many people either leave them alone or destroy the nest for the honey and then walk off without a care in the world.

That being said I'm still working on rescuing nests and splitting hives.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 11:07:34 AM by Barlon »

Offline PhilK

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2016, 08:24:08 PM »
Like Phil, I have a small box of T. Carbonaria that I placed outside my back door where we pass several times a day. They seem to have a bit of a different routine from their bigger cousins, getting up at gentle ladies' hours instead of the crack of dawn...
I've noticed this too. It's because the stingless bees aren't as efficient as heating the hive up as their European cousins. They rely more on the heat from the sun

Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2016, 02:07:32 AM »
Here's some more brood pictures from one of my other hives I realize the two pictures look the same but I was not sure which of the two to upload so I posted both


Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2017, 03:38:23 AM »
Another brood picture where the bees have been using the wire to hold their brood you can see how most is stored below and only a small amount is seen above.



Offline Milo

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2017, 05:50:54 AM »
So is this in an OATH hive? How do you actually keep them?

Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2017, 09:17:58 AM »
So is this in an OATH hive? How do you actually keep them?

My hives are mostly one box hives with a clear sheet attached over the top to allow easy viewing after I take off the roof, the inside has folded wire which the bees build on, once the bees have built enough brood on the top and bottom I pull one part of the wire up slightly which splits the brood in half, I then transfer the brood to a new box with some intact honey and pollen pots which are chosen and cut before splitting the brood, I cut each pot by the thin connects that hold them to the walls or wire which lets me take the pots out with little to no damage.

I don't use the OATH as my Tetragonula mellipes make smaller nests, I did try the mini OATH design but it was not working well for me and my splits were not so successful as the bees would fill the bottom with brood and the top with food storage.

If your wondering how I extract honey for bottling I use a homemade extractor with a pointed tip which I use to open and drain the honey from the honeypots.

Let me know if you have any other questions for me as I'm happy to share.


Offline Milo

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2017, 05:09:19 PM »
If your wondering how I extract honey for bottling I use a homemade extractor with a pointed tip which I use to open and drain the honey from the honeypots.

You know I can't really picture that. In my head that's a syringe but I cant see you individually syringing out the honey pots.

There must be a market in hipster Melbourne for your product!

Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2017, 07:49:17 AM »
Hi Milo

I use the extractor on honeypots that are hard to remove and the connection cutting for easy accessed clusters, honey from the clusters are drained and strained while the honey from the extractor goes right into jars.

My bees do not build as large of a nest as Tetragonula carbonaria or Tetragonula hockingsi which means less honey as well, so using an extractor lets me gather honey I would not have access to otherwise, it also lets me like you said individually drain single honeypots allowing me to leave honey for the bees as the cutting method is an all or nothing kind of deal as you must take the whole cluster to avoid damaging honeypots.

I don't understand why your mentioning hipsters or Melbourne if its a joke I don't find it funny if not please explain.


Offline Milo

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2017, 03:43:49 PM »
The reference to hipster Melbourne is not a joke, I just believe you could stick a really fat price on it and it would still sell really well in Melb in the 'cool' cafes either as the raw product off the shelf or as an ingredient in whatever their making. I recon that would go down well.

So the honey pots you remove, is it then a crush and strain process to extract?

Offline Barlon

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Re: Australian stingless bees
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2017, 06:52:32 AM »
The reference to hipster Melbourne is not a joke, I just believe you could stick a really fat price on it and it would still sell really well in Melb in the 'cool' cafes either as the raw product off the shelf or as an ingredient in whatever their making. I recon that would go down well.

So the honey pots you remove, is it then a crush and strain process to extract?

Oh I see what you mean now, I don't really know much about Melbourne so I didn't really understand the reference, I crush the honeypots in the first strainer then I put the strained honey into an even finer strainer to make sure nothing is left in the honey and then I jar it.

I also clean the crushed honeypots after and then I either store it or melt it in my small solar wax melter, the resin and wax separate from each other when the honeypots melt but can be remixed and cut into blocks that I can sell or store for my own use, I can also choose not to remix it and use the wax to make balms and candles.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 08:09:43 AM by Barlon »