1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I have started studying bees, well actually I just got the first book out of the library and have still to read it.
    I wondered if anyone here was actively keeping bees.
    If so would you be interested in doing alittle blog about what you do in your particular area, tips you have picked up on,what flowers you wish more people would grow/plant.
    Funny stories????
     
  2. adrians

    adrians Junior Member

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    i have 3 hives of native (australian) bees, not european bees though.
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    I had a hive in the backyard in Melbourne about 10 years ago.
    A swarm landed in my compost bin
    I bought a book a net and a smoker and the hive kit
    built the electric devise to attach the wax(block of wood some screws and 2 wires and a metal switch ,it attached to a car battery)
    Had the Bees for a few years loved them
    Best part was opening the lid and just tasting the honey underneath, it would taste of what ever was flowering that week
    best was thyme and oregano honey.
    Ended up selling the lot when I moved to an apartment for a while.
    I miss my bees,the hum and movement was fantastic.
     
  4. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Adriens,
    Is it really all that different keeping Australian bees compared to European bees?
    Good on you, by the way, for using your indiginous species, I think that is important.
    We are supposed to have at least one native type too but I dont know anything about them at all.

    Grasshopper,
    Ohhh,
    I thought you were brave to just give it a go.

    There are sooo many of them, I dont just worry about getting stung.
    Its different with other things theres usually just one but if I mess up with bees then 100's die.
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    My tip for keeping bees is to be confident. Map out what you are going to do and do it - if something happens and the bees get cranky then leave them to get over it and come back later.
    I have just housed another two swarms I collected at the start of summer from backyards in town. They are nice quite bees not like my first couple of hives that are quite feral and cranky but boy do they give good honey.
     
  6. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I don't know if its true but i have heard that european bees cause the native bees to go. They are a threat anyway.

    I've got native bees. They grow under the fountain, in my tea chests, they tried to grow in my radio till i covered it with a towel. The seem to be attracted to dark places. I tasted the honey. It was hmm. Its hard to say what i thought of it. I can't really remember. But they have made a big mess of some things.

    My neighbour across the road grows native bees. He is growing grevilleas as well. I don't know if they are for the bees or just for the birds. I think they look completely wrong in this location but he's a southerner so that'd be right. He's always worrying about bushfires as well.
     
  7. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I wonder if ther was some way you could introduce them to a 'hive house' and keep them there.
    If you have so many of them there must be a fantastic food source for them, it could be the start of a whole new career.
    Of which I would dearly love to hear about!
     
  8. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  9. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    I have a native sting less sugerbag bee hive which I use for pollination, they are cute to watch up close and they love to sleep in, cold weather and they won't even bother to get out of bed. but I find them all over my orchard and they are supposed to be great for macadamia nut pollination due to their tiny size. I also have a feral European bee hive that moved in. My neighbour lost all his hive to a beetle a few years ago and lost the drive to add more, but now enjoys teaching me the ins and outs of bee keeping and he gets a source of fresh honey as do I with this strong hive.
     
  10. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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  11. hawkypork

    hawkypork Junior Member

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    Hi Mischief,

    I recently got some bees from a beekeeper with immaculate habits. (He visits his bees in the morning when most of the workers are out, the only uses lavender smoke, he religiously uses the Harmony Frame Rotation Method to keep his bees busy, he wets frames before replacing them as a little water gift to his girls etc etc).

    The hive is tidy as a pin and the bees are amazingly docile and malleable. In the suburbs the bees food sources are endless and the bees are working like mad. I have already taken about 6 kilos of honey including lovely golden honey from our flowering tipuana tree.

    I am trying to keep up the tidy habits of predecessor but I am a bit more random. Over Xmas I did some beekeeping with my cousin down near the WA Stirling Ranges. His habits are very slack and although he has several hives we only got a few kilos of honey and the extaction process was a complete palaver creating unappealing dirty honey that needs to be heated to seperate the wax out. As a result I have vowed to keep the management up.

    I have the bees on a stand in the chook run and chicken and bee seem to get along fine. I would love to put up a few photos but it is too much of a wind-up on this forum.

    regards,
    Haakon
     
  12. hawkypork

    hawkypork Junior Member

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    Harmony Frame Rotation Method

    Further on the harmony frame rotation method: The method was apparently devised in Western Australia over the last 15 years. The idea is to manage your bee colony so that the bees dont swarm. The bloke I got my bees from reckons he hasnt had a swarm in years.

    In essence, you move frames of brood, capped honey and emptys around the hive in such a manner that keeps the bees in a constant happy state of build-up. Bees swarm when the colony reaches a climax state. At that point the colony makes a new queen. All the deserters then engorge on honey and fly off with their queen looking for a new home leaving you with a weakened impoverished colony. Also feral bees are a menace, taking up tree-hollow habitat that could be used by native wildlife.

    regards,
    Haakon
     
  13. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Not sure what you mean by a wind up but if its cos its hard to post pics then you could try Sunburns place-www.photoblog.com.
    I takes me ages to figure out how to use newfangled things but if I can do it then anyone can.

    Thats interesting that he only uses lavendar smoke.I have often read that the hives are smoked but not with what before.
     
  14. ebunny

    ebunny Junior Member

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    Does anyone know if you can keep european bees and native bees together? I also heard that hives of native bees need to be a kilometer from the next nearest native hive to keep everyone happy.

    I'd quite like to do both in future if that's not going to creat turf wars...:p
     
  15. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    It depends to a large extent on the forage, energizer bunny. There will be no war in my opinion as the honey bee will win easily but if you have a diverse range of forage and especially some natives then they will coexist I reckon.
     
  16. Ricko

    Ricko New Member

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    My old man (father) forced me into bees I used to go to bee conventions with my grand father at the age of 10. I hated them. Now as an adult I would love to have a hive or two. Basicly they arn't hard work. Keep an eye out for moths which will decimate a hive and if they get really cranky you may need to import a nice quiet queen. We occassionally imported queens from N.Z and hoped that when we introduced her that she would win the battle of supremacy which they usually did and we managed to calm a hive. I remember smoking the apiary aged about 12 and I had been sucking the honey through my veil. I asked my old man if I could go for a drink of water. When I pulled the veil off I recierved about 20 stings around the lips eyes and ears. I couldn't see for four days as I looked like homer simpson. Remember if they don't have adequet food (blossom) they will swarm and leave. A worker bee will fly 30km in a day in search of food. When she returns she will dance in front of the hive and tell them the direction, how far and the product don't underestimate nature. We have been caught out at times unable to shift our bees and have had to buy sacks of sugar from csr which we tipped into puddles just to stop them from leaving home. Hope I have contributed something.
     
  17. ebunny

    ebunny Junior Member

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    I'm surprised you still love bees after all that Ricko! Great stories though and good advice too.

    And thanks PP - I'll try for both types of bees then.
     
  18. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    this is very therapeutic,
    like the splash from PP.....
    ignorance - lovingly handed down user to user like a drop of honey on a bees tongue.
     
  19. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Are you trolling Kimbo? Mods?
     
  20. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    just can't get my head about the likes of you - mod
     

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