Dean Haley generously hosted this months Australian Native Bee Association – Brisbane meeting at his place with around 40 people attending. Thanks to Ian Driver for manning the BBQ and also contributions from Geoffrey Dutton and the local butcher.
Dean has an amazing yard with a great variety of native bee species and box designs, I may have paid more attention to the different box designs, I think he has at least one of everything available. To say Dean likes to experiment could be an understatement. Possibly a mad scientist, Dean has many projects and experiments going on which i don’t think anyone could cover in an article.
Dean started out talking about the preparation he does before working with his bees, using a light Lavender spray to calm them down so they don’t become defensive during splits.
Dean demonstrated how he sets up his Eductions/Budding. He moves the old box backwards, putting the new box in front, disguises it with few items and puts an entrance on the front that already has the bees scent on it. This technique helps the bees accept the new box and they will quickly get on with their normal business.
This box hanging from the tree contains the Tetragonula carbonaria species. The hinged door can be opened for easy viewing. The bees don’t have any issues accessing the box even when it swings in the wind from the large Poinciana tree.
This was another Tc colony that Dean split on the day. It split in the perfect spot very easily so was a quick and simple demonstration. Quite a few queens cells were observed.
Dean talked about how hives could be taken over by other species and some tips he used from Tony Blackwell. He had a Tetragonula carbonaria colony taken over by Tetragonula hockingsi and split it soon after. The half with the Hockingsi queen went on to become a healthy Hockingsi colony while the other half created a new queen from the existing carbonaria queen cells so he ended up with a good healthy carbonaria colony.
There’s a lot of things to look at in the yard, This is one of Chris Fullers – Kin Kin Bees dense foam boxes, Dean says it’s going quite well. It actually looked in really good condition.
It’s obvious Dean has a great passion for his bees and is always coming up with some great information which benefits everyone. I’m sure everyone who attended this meeting will have learnt something new.
Dean, Sarah the pampered dog and the bees of course!
For more info about the Australian Native Bee Association visit the website: https://australiannativebee.org.au