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Author Topic: I got my stingless bees. Now what do I do?  (Read 11007 times)
Birdswood
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« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2012, 11:05:08 PM »

Thanks for the great pictures Shane. Is the hierarchy with stingless bees the same as with the honey bee, with the single queen, etc, etc? We get the blue banded native bee around here, but they sure are hard to spot. I see them when the citrus are in bloom.

Leigh
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Lone
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« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2012, 10:32:46 AM »

Hello folks,

Thanks for the replies and pictures.  I still haven't learnt much about my little pets. All I know is how little I know about them.  My one inspection was very brief because I heard they don't like too many inspections.  I was too late and the series of books aren't available right now.  We are currently having a lot of dry season rain, so things are a bit quiet, but just over a week ago they were getting excited on the melaleuca honey flow.  I have photos which I'll show you one of these days.  I'm not sure if I need to build another storey.  I guess I need a second inspection.  You all would have laughed at me when I inspected with full protective gear on!  I thought I'd skip on splitting this year to give them the best chance to build up. One boon is that they often go to different plants from the larger bees, and when the gourd flowers weren't opening early would crawl through the petals.  Leigh, yes, there is one queen.  I think I saw something larger once outside which could have been a drone?  Country Heart, you'd notice at the entrance to Shane's hive all the guard bees right round the circle.  They tend to retreat inside a bit at night when it's cooler.  JP, I heard about someone who puts a tap in their hives to extract the honey, but I don't know how that works.  Crush and strain would be the usual way I guess and then make a digeridoo so you can use the wax on the mouthpiece.  Wonga, the dogs play Bob The Frog.  Anyway, it beats having a frog jump on your face when you have been asleep.  It is like being hit with cold green slime.  Then there's the loo-dwellers...  Anyway, here's a map showing where North Queensland is, although it says Northern on the map.  It is south of Far North Queensland.

oops I forgot to include the link, sorry  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Queensland

Lone
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 10:40:51 PM by Lone » Logged
Lone
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2012, 10:36:12 PM »



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The hive.



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Stingless bees on a honey flow.



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Notice the one at the front doing the house cleaning.
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Lone
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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2012, 10:37:47 PM »

Can someone please identify which species the above are?

Thanks,

Lone
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hardwood
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2012, 10:53:45 PM »

Beautiful pics Lone, I'm jealous!

Scott
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bernsad
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« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2012, 03:42:34 AM »

Lone,
Is that three boxes on one hive or three seperate hives all stacked up?
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Lone
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« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2012, 04:11:57 AM »

 It's the same hive.  One level has pollen, one brood, one honey. There are a few holes in the ply between levels.

Scott, have you looked round Florida to see if it's possible to get stingless bees there?

Lone
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weedyau
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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2012, 06:42:59 AM »

A picture of the brood structure would help an ID. Could be Trigona hockingsi up your way. 
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Wonga
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« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2012, 08:55:43 AM »

Hey Lone,

I bought some sugarbag honey on the weekend - honey from stingless native bees. I got it in Warialda, NSW, but it comes from Highvale Qld. -"from the forests of North Qld." It was a fluke that I found it, last jar, and label damaged, - and don't know how it ended up in Warialda, although "Warialda" is supposed to mean "place of wild honey '' in local language, and they do have a Honey Festival every Spring, although there doesn't appear to be many beekeepers in the area. It has instructions on the jar to keep refrigerated. Pretty good honey, a bit thin and sort of runny, but tastes fine - a medium to dark colour. The aroma reminds me of leatherwood honey.
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Lone
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« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2012, 11:04:02 PM »

Shane,

Where on Earth (QLD specifically)...do you get hold of thick untreated wood?  I looked around the closest city the other day and everything over 19mm has been treated, except for one expensive rough sawn stick of pine, 25mm, 2.4m for near $100.
You can get 19mm pine easily, so I might have to just use that, or double it up.  Apparently there are a couple of rubbish tips that might sell wood, but it would be risky as it can be hard to tell if it's been "immunized".  It is an issue for making langstroth hives too, and I've decided the easiest way is to buy them.

Wonga, I've only had a taste of the honey, but it was nice.  I bet your jar won't last long, and you'll have to find some bush hives to rob. 

Lone

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squidink
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2012, 03:15:56 AM »

A month on how are they going Lone?
I'm in the process of getting a colony, as I'm in the south I will be setting them up in a thermostatically controlled box it will be in interesting experiment, a bloke in Victoria has done it with reasonable success.

Ben
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2012, 10:00:20 AM »

Hi Lone, sorry for the late reply. I have been busy with my job which is important because without money I cannot afford my hobbies Sad

I used cypress pine for the boxes I built for my stingless bees. I purchased it from this place just up the road from me: http://www.cypresssupplies.com.au/

Shane

Shane,

Where on Earth (QLD specifically)...do you get hold of thick untreated wood?  I looked around the closest city the other day and everything over 19mm has been treated, except for one expensive rough sawn stick of pine, 25mm, 2.4m for near $100.
You can get 19mm pine easily, so I might have to just use that, or double it up.  Apparently there are a couple of rubbish tips that might sell wood, but it would be risky as it can be hard to tell if it's been "immunized".  It is an issue for making langstroth hives too, and I've decided the easiest way is to buy them.

Wonga, I've only had a taste of the honey, but it was nice.  I bet your jar won't last long, and you'll have to find some bush hives to rob. 

Lone


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Shane
Lone
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« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2012, 04:18:05 AM »

Quote
A month on how are they going Lone?
I'm in the process of getting a colony, as I'm in the south I will be setting them up in a thermostatically controlled box it will be in interesting experiment, a bloke in Victoria has done it with reasonable success.

Ben

Hello Ben,

I've actually had them for about 6 months.  I am still pretty ignorant about them.  The books are not available from the aussie bee website.  I was advised not to disturb them too much, but perhaps I should be checking more frequently.  Last time, there was a good amount of honey, pollen and brood.  Today was the first time I've had a chance to inspect lately, and I got a shock.  There are only a couple of balls of honey in the top box.  I'm afraid they will starve.  It's packed full of brood and lots of pollen also.  I'm wondering if they have gone brood mad but are not bringing in enough nectar to feed everyone.  The weather has been unusually cold for the area, and amazing amounts of rain for the dry season.  We've had whole weeks where it hasn't stopped raining, right when the trees have been fully blooming in the creek.  In a panic I phoned the man who sold them to me.  He has similar problems.  He suggested I could feed them honey from the european bees...he hasn't tried this but he's seen the stingless ones robbing honey when he's opened his other hives.  And maybe I should take them to town for a while.  I put in a small dish of honey covered with cloth.  Does anyone know if this will work?

Ben, I'm surprised you can keep them down south.  Please show us your set up and let us know the progress.  Would they have problems foraging in winter?  Will you have a log or box hive?

 
Quote
A picture of the brood structure would help an ID. Could be Trigona hockingsi up your way. 

Hello Weedy, that is meant to be the local bee, but the bloke who sold me mine had a couple of varieties and when I took them I realised he didn't know the species.  But I'm thinking they are correct ones for here.  Anyway, I took photos today so when I load them I'm hoping you will help ID them.

Shane, that looks like nice wood and a good service for you.  We have no sawmills here of course.  The closest logging is probably the sandalwood out west which they crush down.  With the state of honey in the hive I'm not sure if I will be able to split this year in any case.  There is just a little time before things should warm up for the poor little things, so it might look better in spring.

Lone
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squidink
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« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2012, 06:00:15 AM »

Thanks for the update Lone!

It will be an interesting project keeping them in Melbourne, it's been done before with good success in Geelong about 2 hours from Melbourne. They will be able to forage for 10 months of the year and I'm prepared to go to serious lengths to look after them. I keep reptiles so my theory is I shall keep them in a thermostatically controlled environment. Their home will be warm and i will supplement their stores when it's too cold for them to forage.
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bernsad
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« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2012, 06:17:30 AM »

How are you acquiring them or getting them down here squidink? I'm in Melbourne also, just curious.
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Lone
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« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2012, 06:42:24 AM »

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i will supplement their stores when it's too cold for them to forage.

How do you supplement their stores?

Lone
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squidink
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« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2012, 07:31:56 AM »

How are you acquiring them or getting them down here squidink? I'm in Melbourne also, just curious.

I have looked into that Zabel will freight them down via a courier service.

Lone,  i will feed them radiated pollen as well as a molasses and honey mix.

In theory this should all work well but I guess it's just a theory! I will begin operation stingless in October!

Ben
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bernsad
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« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2012, 08:33:56 AM »

Lone,

Those books are available on ebay http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Native-Bees-Australia-Series-All-10-booklets-/190660486829?pt=AU_Non_Fiction_Books_2&hash=item2c644026ad if you want them. They are a bit more expensive than the Aussie Bee site but if you are keen to get them. That's not me on ebay btw.
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Lone
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« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2012, 09:32:50 AM »

Thank you, Berny, I just ordered them. 

Ben, I obviously don't need to feed pollen, but why do you mix honey and molasses, and in what quantity?  Will I know more when I receive the booklets?  Is there a good method to feed them?

Lone
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bernsad
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« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2012, 08:30:02 AM »

You're welcome.  Smiley
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