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Author Topic: Eucalypts - Nectar and pollen  (Read 1483 times)
Mardak
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« on: January 30, 2010, 01:15:33 AM »

I have been reading but am not finding much info. on yeilds when the various trees are flowering. The books describe the types of trees and when they approx may flower. Anybody got advice out there on how many trees are needed more or less to grow and sustain a hive?
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philinacoma
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 05:47:59 PM »

I know this does not really answer the question, but my reading is that different eucalypts provide different quantities of pollen and nectar, and do so in different amounts every year.

Yellow Box, for example, is a good source for nectar but the pollen is useless and the advice is that if your bees have been feeding predominately on Yellow Box, you need to move your bees to a good pollen source before winter so they can build their brood up again.

I guess the answer could be, how long is that peice of string?
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Yarra_Valley
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 06:53:18 AM »

philinacoma on the money there.

Take my area for example. Messmate (Eucalyptus Obliqua) usually has a decent flowering every second year. In 2007 it flowered the best it has in years and gave a very strong honey flow until it rained, and that killed the flow. Most commercial beekeepers didn't except it to finish that quickly. Its important to them if they are moving off something like yelllow box which is pollen deficient and they need something with excellent pollen to rejuvenate colonies heading into winter, and help prevent EFB in the spring. Last year, the extreme dry conditions put the messmate under too much stress to bud well, and then most of it was burnt out! So there are many factors affecting how much a Eucalypt will yield. Also, if you are growing them, when will they be mature and flower? As for actual figures on potential yield per tree or per hectare I can't help you.

However, not all is lost. I know commercial beekeepers who grow spotted gum on their wintering sites, as it usually provides some nectar and pollen over winter.

If you can get hold of the book honey flora of victoria, published by DPI some years ago that should help you. It contains more details specific to beekeepers than publications such as Brooker & Kleinig and Costamens.

What are you thinking about doing?
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philinacoma
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 09:09:21 AM »

Honey Flora of Victoria. darn hard book to find. It took about a month and a hundred phone calls to about half the book shops in Victoria and even some in NSW.

I even contacted the editor of the last edition (1973 ed). He said that there have been a lot of changes to classification of plants and it needs some major revision work which the DPI has no plans of forking out for. If I can find his email, I'll include it. I even tried contacting the agriculture minister, no response.

There is a copy of the first edition (1922?) on the internet on some library database in the US which you can look at.

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924003448655/cu31924003448655_djvu.txt

I've seen another imaged (better) copy somewhere.

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924003448655#page/n1/mode/2up
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 09:22:08 AM by philinacoma » Logged
Yarra_Valley
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 03:43:57 PM »

Honey Flora of Victoria. darn hard book to find. It took about a month and a hundred phone calls to about half the book shops in Victoria and even some in NSW.

I even contacted the editor of the last edition (1973 ed). He said that there have been a lot of changes to classification of plants and it needs some major revision work which the DPI has no plans of forking out for. If I can find his email, I'll include it. I even tried contacting the agriculture minister, no response.

There is a copy of the first edition (1922?) on the internet on some library database in the US which you can look at.

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924003448655/cu31924003448655_djvu.txt

I've seen another imaged (better) copy somewhere.

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924003448655#page/n1/mode/2up



Thanks for the links mate. They'll be useful to people. I got my copy at a second hand bookshop in the CBD for $20 Smiley. I think I found it on a database online...not sure where.

Eucalypts of Victoria and Tasmania by Dean Nicolle is the most up to date of the Eucalypt identification books in regards to name changes / reclassification and all that.

http://www.collinsbooks.com.au/featuredbook1.asp?StoreUrl=collinsbooks&bookid=9781876473600&db=au

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philinacoma
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2010, 09:10:44 PM »

Another good one is 'Field guide to eucalypts Volume 1: south-eastern Australia' by M.I.H. Brooker and D.A. Kleinig.

It doesn't go into the usefullness of each eucalypt to bees, but it gives a lot of tips in identifying each species and type (gum, box, peppermint, iron bark, etc). Once you have identified the species you can then look it up in the 'Honey Flora of Victoria' book. The book is a bit pricey unfortunately. It retails for around $120-$130.

I picked my Honey Flora up for $20 at a second hand book shop in Carlton opposite the uni.
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mick
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2010, 02:35:22 AM »

The best field guide IMO and prolly cheapest is "Trees of Victoria and adjoining areas" by Leon Costermans, Costermans publishing. Pocket size, 194 pages.

http://www.weedinfo.com.au/bk_trees.html just one site.

$17.95 plus postage.

Leo is THE man when it comes to this info. Book does more than just show you what a tree looks like, teaches you how to look at a tree and work out what it is, has flowering info and times etc etc, best investment you can make.

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philinacoma
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2010, 09:34:46 AM »

I finally found that email....

"Hi Phil

Regretfully, I don't know of any sources of the book Honey Flora of Victoria.  From time to time, I hear that copies have been snapped up at second book shops and clearing sales and the like.

Before it can be reprinted, the book requires major revision, particularly in view of the many changes to plant names that have occurred over recent years.  A source of funds for this project has not been found.

A useful book on Victorian Eucalypts is Eucalypts of Victoria and Tasmania by Dean Nicolle was published in 2006 (ISBN 1 876473 60 6).  The book doesn't mention nectar and pollen yields, but it is useful for identifying trees.

Leon Costermans has published a pocket-size titled Trees of Victoria  which provides an indication of usefulness to bees.

Regards
Russell
  Russell Goodman"

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Yarra_Valley
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2010, 03:30:15 PM »

Another good one is 'Field guide to eucalypts Volume 1: south-eastern Australia' by M.I.H. Brooker and D.a. Kleinig.

It doesn't go into the usefullness of each eucalypt to bees, but it gives a lot of tips in identifying each species and type (gum, box, peppermint, iron bark, etc). Once you have identified the species you can then look it up in the 'Honey Flora of Victoria' book. The book is a bit pricey unfortunately. It retails for around $120-$130.

I picked my Honey Flora up for $20 at a second hand book shop in Carlton opposite the uni.


I got the Kleinig book for $35 at a secondhand bookshop Smiley. Eucalypts of Victoria and Tasmania by Dean Nicolle is said to supercede the work of Leon Costermans and Brooker & Kleinig - that is until they change the names and classifications again. More concise up to date information. At $45 if I needed one book I'd go for that one. If you can find the honey flora book that's good and well. if not, find out what's in your area and when its likely to flower. Other beekeepers or forest workers can be helpful. There are a few commercial guys out your way Mardak, I'll interview them next time I see them if you want me too. I can't remember the online search engine where i got the honey flora book but it'd be worthwhile hunting down.
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