Sarah Hamilton from Bee Yourself Australia held a Native Bee Workshop in Brisbane and invited Dean Bryant to demonstrate a couple of colony transfers and splits. There was great interest for the short notice event with over 40 people attending.
Ag Pipe Transfer
Above: The first transfer was from a small Ag Pipe. Unfortunately there was only pollen pots in the pipe and no sign of brood. It’s suspected the brood must have been further down in the ground underneath the Ag Pipe. The hive box was prepared anyway and the bees encouraged to enter the box. Sarah may have to retrieve the rest of the colony from the ground to place in the box.
Terracotta Pot Transfer
Above: The second transfer was from a terracotta pot that the bees had moved in to. This pot had been in Sarah’s yard for years.. It was a bit of a challenge to extract the colony as they’d glued themselves in there pretty well.
Above: Displaying the brood of the Hockingsi colony.
Above: You can see the remains of the entrance tube that bees had built coming in from the small hole in the base of the pot. It’s like a little channel just below the hole.
Above: The whole insides of the pot removed. You can see a lot of orange pollen around the outside.
Above: Dean removed the pollen and honey pots from around the brood, then transfered the brood in to one of Sarah’s hive boxes.
Traditional Box Split
Above: Dean splitting one of Sarah’s Hockingsi hives. This was a good strong colony, filling out the whole box.
Above: Dean looking for the “Advancing Front” of the brood. Dean says splitting at the advancing front ensures equal amount of Queen cells in each box after the split.
Thanks Sarah and Dean for another great day out. It was great to see some familiar faces and meet some new crazy bee people as well.
Sarah is very active with Stingless Bee events and you’ll find her at most garden and environment shows showing off her Stingless Bee Hives and educating the public about bees.
Here’s Sarah’s website if you’re after some Native Bees for your garden – http://www.beeyourself.com.au/