Bees & Pollination... A topic close to my heart

November 7, 2017

Why? Because bees are actually responsible for something you eat, wear and drink every single day. Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male parts of a flower to the female parts of a flower all in the name of survival, which results in fertilization and the production of seeds. Almost every fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, and hay (alfalfa grown to feed livestock), require pollination by insects. Even fibre like the cotton you wear!  In return this bee transforms its takings into an amazing product called honey.

There are other pollinating insects that also play a critical role in maintaining natural plant communities and guaranteeing the production of seeds in most flowering plants.

I have always had an affinity with the bee. I used to keep Europen bees (honey bee) hives until I became anaphylactic, so I gave it to another die hard eco dude to maintain, thanks Hart... I still get a jar of honey. So now I have a hive of native bees to help with my veggie and herb garden (when the new puppy hasn’t dug them up).

Native bee hive boxes are quite small compared to European honey bee hives. Small amounts of honey can be harvested from boxed hives of stingless bees in the warmer parts of Australia. But cooler areas like the Central Coast, stingless bees need all their supplies of honey to survive their dormant period in the winter. The box should be situated in a warm spot in your garden, preferably with morning sun, should be sheltered from extreme afternoon heat and cold winds. These bees have adapted to our lifestyle and will pollinate all flora, with a desire for Austalian natives. A supply of water near the nest is also good.

In Summer, if the temperature is extremely hot, you could place a wet, light coloured towel over the hive (not over the entry). If the hive is in the sun, a covering (like an umbrella) to shade the hive can also be useful, such as a shade cloth or a white sheet/towel (again, not over the entry).  

Hives can melt down/collapse in extreme temperatures (over 40 degrees), so wetting the area around it like the pavers or wall can help cool the general area down. Bees will be around the entrance and flying in and out of the hive during the day and when it is over 18 degrees. They’ll be tucked up in bed at night or when it is cold or rainy.

 

Such a simple "insect" can predict the weather....

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