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Bush bees

    20 responses

Wayne starts with ...
Hi people
I found a bush bee hive in a Telstra junction box this morning up against a wall where I tutor in town. Knowing Telstra, they will kill the bees when they need to work on the lines next time so I'm wondering if I could move it [or get it moved] to my place successfully.
I'm thinking they might not stay here but our neighbour grows lots of flowers so that might help.
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Wayne
Mackay QLD
26th November 2010 7:02pm
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Violet_Cactus says...
Hi Wayne, It's worth a try, moving them, As you say, Telstra would probably just spray them with poison.

There's information on native bees here http://www.aussiebee.com.au/ the Australian Native Bee Research Centre. Maybe you could contact them (PO Box 74, North Richmond NSW 2754, Fax: 02-4576 1196) and ask what's the best way to move them.
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VioletCactus1
Melbourne
27th November 2010 8:53am
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Brendan says...
Wayne,
As they don't sting, grab as many as you can, take them home and place em in a hollow log, make sure you get the queen. (she's bigger).
They make the sweetest honey :-) Good luck!
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
27th November 2010 10:16am
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Wayne says...
Thanks Violet, looking at that site tells me that they are hard to move with an 80% mortality rate. It gave me a couple of phone numbers to contact so will do so.
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Wayne
Mackay QLD
27th November 2010 10:18am
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John Mc says...
I thought I'd knock up a few native bee hives this arvo out of some scrap laying around. I roughly followed some specs I found on the net and I don't think they turned out too bad. Any faults in the joins will be soon sealed with wax by the bees, just like the logs they inhabit so I wasn't too concerned about them not being built in a tradesmanlike manner..Maybe next time. Now all I have to do is find some native bees, they're gotta be good for pollination. There's not as many european bees around that's for sure.
Here's a link to a typical hive construct.
http://www.sugarbag.net/hives/

If anyone has better or more efficient plans, I'd be keen to see them.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
14th April 2012 5:59pm
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Original Post was last edited: 14th April 2012 6:23pm
MaryT says...
Your homemade bee hive looks great, John Mc - I have noticed a significant decline of the number of bees around here and must do something about it. I'll have to plant more bee magnets.
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MaryT
Sydney
14th April 2012 6:07pm
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Mike says...
The native bee hive in my garage door have an entrance of less than 5mm.Each year the door seems to get heavier and I suspect the hollow in the middle is filling up.They are always looking for new places for hives and seem to set small ones up and then leave it a short time later.
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Mike27
 
14th April 2012 7:12pm
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John Mc says...
I see the odd native bee but the colonies are a bit more elusive around here. I read an article on how to clone a wild colony whenever I find one.
Stingless native bee dealers want $400 for a working hive plus postage.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
14th April 2012 7:36pm
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Mike says...
John Mc I wonder if I hang a section of bamboo or something similar with a little hole in they start a nest.I suppose they would not be that hard to mail.I don't know if they would survive in NSW or if they are the same species.
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Mike27
 
14th April 2012 7:42pm
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John Mc says...
heh heh, nice of you to try and find a way Mike, but from what I've read you have a different species suited to your area. The species suited to my area go up as far as Brisbane, I'm sort of near it's southern limit.
I'll take the dog for a walk down some bush tracks not far from here tomorrow and see if we can't find anything.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
14th April 2012 10:10pm
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Xiem says...
John Mc I will be interested to know if you make any progress in locating a hive. Other members of the forum may also be interested. And yes, 400 shekels is a lot to pay for a working hive. Please keep us up to date on your endeavours.
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Diego
 
26th April 2012 3:05pm
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John Mc says...
Yes sure will. The native bees are starting to bunk down for the winter now, so I won't be looking much till next spring.
From the plans I googled, I'm doubtful whether the timber is thick enough to insulate the hive satisfactorily for my area where I'm approaching their southern limit. I've seen hives made up out of large diameter bamboo cut with three nodes giving the bees two separate chambers to do their stuff, but this was in the tropics.
I'm going to make another hive up out of at least 38mm or 50mm thick timber next time. I should have plenty of boxes made up come next spring.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
26th April 2012 5:13pm
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amanda says...
(a quick hijack...but the european honey bees must have just woken up for winter here...it's almost dangerous to garden right now..! :)

I realise I should write these small things down in a gardening diary...no wonder my flushes pf passionfruit flowers haven't been well pollinated over summer...I am sure the bees hibernate over summer here...?
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amanda19
Geraldton. 400km north of Perth.
26th April 2012 9:51pm
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snottiegobble says...
Maybe they just suffer like us Amanda during the heat, & the queen doesnt produce until there is a more reasonable temperature or worse still the eggs or pupae die cos the young workers get totally fanned out trying to keep the hive operational? Who knows?? Honey bees were not designed for WA :-(
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso
26th April 2012 10:00pm
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John Mc says...
Since googling around for info on native bees, I found some interesting info on the Kenyan Top Bar Hive. In short, it's a simple timber hive we can easily make at home to house the European honey bee at very little cost. Last summer I saw a couple of colonys on the move and they would have been very easy to put in a box and take home.
The interest in honey bees is from my family farm many years ago where we ran 1200 commercial hives amongst other farming activities.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
26th April 2012 10:56pm
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snottiegobble says...
John Mc, my ex F in L only had about 30 hives & when he discovered American Foul Brood in them it was devastating in more ways than one. He was forced to seal all the hives at dusk, put them in a big trench & douse with petrol then throw a match in! The resulting 'woof' was so powerful it rattled our windows & half of Geelong thought there was a minor earthquake! A little too much fuel, I suspect!
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso
26th April 2012 11:27pm
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Julie says...
I just read in an old gardening mag that growing pigeon peas attracts native bees. Apparently the honeybee isn't interested in the flowers.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
27th August 2012 8:54pm
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gus says...
I don't think any amount of pigeon peas will help us perthians though Julie. I beleive we only have those rare and lazy forrestfield bees that don't earn their keep and venture out nowhere.
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gus
innaloo
28th August 2012 9:20am
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John Mc says...
There's standing room only for the natives when the Macadamia flowers are out.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
28th August 2012 7:01pm
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Julie says...
Thanks Gus, I won't bother then.

Forrestfield bees?
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Julie
Roleystone WA
28th August 2012 7:46pm
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Original Post was last edited: 28th August 2012 7:47pm
gus says...
I believe they found a small pocket of rare native bees in bushland in the southern suburbs. I thought it was forrestfield but may have been bibra lake? Native bees normally live a lot further north and are illegal to import down here. They probably wouldn't survive our winter anyway. I think these southern bees are our only hope, but from memory they produce only negligible amounts of honey anyway.
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gus
innaloo
29th August 2012 10:53am
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