We’re loving having a stingless beehive homed within the 107 Rooftop garden – aside from the pollination support for our garden’s veggies, its a bit special just to sit and watch these ladies going about their business, as they have for millions of years.
Recently we held our first Stingless beekeeping workshop up on the rooftop with Tim Heard – native bee expert and all round knowledgable person.
Following on from a discussion about stingless bees in general and specifically tetragonula – the species of social native bee otherwise known as Sugarbag Bees, it was on to hive work.
The class watched while Tim took them through the process of splitting a stingless beehive into two colonies by splitting the brood nest.
Following on from this hive split, there was a harvest and a tasting of the sugarbag honey – a great treat, as these bees don’t generally make enough honey for there to be excess to harvest.
As a keeper of honeybees, it’s always fascinating to me to see the similarities (many) and differences (just as many) between Apis Mellifera, or the european honeybee that we keep in our Warré hives, and these tetragonula carbonaria – a gondwana insect particular to Australia.
The brood nest, the cells, the storing of honey, the propolis collection for all building chores beyond comb production…
Everyone went home from the course much the wiser and honeyed-up – and some of them with their pre-ordered stingless hives, ready to wreak pollination support far and wide.
Big thanks to Dr Tim Heard for the learning – we’re looking forward to his book “The Australian native bee book : keeping stingless bee hives for pets, pollination and delectable sugarbag honey” coming out in February!
More about Stingless bees:
- Keeping Stingless Bees in the City
- Urban Stingless Beehive: harvesting and splitting
- Installing Native Bees + Making Insect Hotel
Our next courses with Tim Heard will be in November 2016 – make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter if you’re keen to know when they go live.