Albert Einstein said; 'If bees were to disappear from the globe, humankind would only have four years left to live'. Needless to say, they're important little guys. Australia's 1500 native bee species are a vital part of our ecosystem, pollinating and assisting our native biodiversity. 200 of those species are endemic to Sydney, and only one of those species is a social bee - as in, they live in a colony and produce honey.
This workshop gives you the unique opportunity to see a hive being split! We'll teach you all you need to know about keeping native stingless bees. Learn about the structure and construction of a nest and the different roles bees play throughout their lifespan and within a colony. View an interactive demonstration and discussion of a 'split/propagation' and 'honey harvest'. Discover how to split/propagate a hive using a 'search for the void' technique, how to find the advancing front, retreating edge and queen cells. Find out how and when to harvest honey through a Sydney technique, soft on the colony's extra stores and population to encourage a healthy hive. And last but not least, take the opportunity to taste honey and take some home.
Suitable for: All ages.
Provided: Tea, coffee, detailed notes, honey tasting and a little to take home.
Bring: Paper, pen, water, hat + sunscreen.
Our teacher: Dan Smailes is Sydney Native Bees. His passion and primary focus is native bee conservation, to rescue and relocate colonies in need, to places of community, cultural or educational importance. He is a true indigenous biodiversity advocate.
Sydney Native Bees works closely with arborists, councils, permaculture groups, community gardens and public schools. Dan is regularly called upon to rescue and relocate indigenous honey bee colonies, throughout the Sydney metropolitan area. Through this devotion to conservation and recent collaborations with Wildthings NSW and Permaculture Northern Beaches, he has developed a thorough understanding of Sydney's naturally occurring stingless bee, Tetragonula Carbonaria's colony behaviour, nest protection, seasonal instinct and social patterns unique to this region.