What a setting for a native bee workshop!
Hidden away in the hills at Missabotti NSW is Little Star Bee Sanctuary run by Steven and Trudi. With a passion for all bees they initially started out with Honey Bees and in recent years have added native stingless bees to the property, also creating a schools program “100 Hives in a 100 Schools“.
Little Star Bee Sanctuary ran a native bee workshop at the property in October inviting Tim Heard – Sugarbag Bees along to present at the workshop. It was great to see so many people interested in native bees and some had driven quite a distance to attend. Steven and Trudi have a number of native bee hives scattered around the property and would like to increase the populations but along with many of us, they have seen slow progress in the health the hives this year due to extended rain and low temperatures, recording a negative 4 degrees in winter.
Tim had everyone captivated with splitting demonstrations and although the bees are stingless, they can bite and everyone saw a very good example of someone being attacked by stingless bees as Tim was stopped in his tracks by thousands of bees biting his eyelids which interrupted the presentation for a short time. Everyone was quite entertained I think.
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Steven and Trudi also run Honey Bee workshops and have been breeding a slightly more aggressive bee which seems to defend the hive better against pest attacks as Steven says they haven’t lost a hive to pest attack in eight years. One possible consequence of having nice calm bees to work with for humans is higher risk the bees wont defend themselves against pest attacks.
After living on another part of the property for over ten years Steven and Trudi only recently built this new house themselves. “8000 screws in just the frame” Steve said with a look on his face like he didn’t want to see any more screws for a while. The house is completely offgrid with plenty of solar battery power to run everything.