Are you interested in keeping native stingless bees for fun, honey production, conservation or pollination? In this workshop, entomologists and professional educator, Dr Tim Heard will teach you the basics on how to become a stingless beekeeper. He will entertain and educate you at the same time. This workshop alternates between slide presentations and a practical session to build a strong foundation of knowledge and experience. The stunning slide presentation will cover the topics of bee nesting biology, bee foraging biology, diversity of wild bees, importance of bees in natural systems, traditional stingless beekeeping around the world, modern stingless beekeeping in Australia, using stingless bees for pollination of gardens and farms, Stingless bee honey and its properties, rescuing bees threatened in the wild, and more. In the practical sessions, we will open hives and observe the amazing structures within. We will learn how to move a colony from a log into a hive. We will divide the hive into two halves showing the process of colony propagation. We may even extract honey from a hive.
The hives are wonderful garden companions. Many crops benefit from bee visitation to their flowers. Honey bees are the most common insect utilised for this purpose. But there is a native alternative, at least for warmer parts of Australia. Stingless bees are Australia’s indigenous social bee. They are harmless and well suited to school gardens, effective pollinators of many garden plants, yield small amounts of delectable honey.
Stingless bees store honey (and pollen) in their nests as food sources when times are tough. Stingless bee honey was a highly prized food of Aborigines who robbed it from wild nests. Only tiny amounts of stingless bee honey is produced – less than 1kg per hive per year, so it’s a special product, to be savoured and relished. Tim’s workshop is suitable for older children with a keen interest in nature.
Bookings are essential as numbers are limited.
PLEASE NOTE the time for this workshop, which has been arranged to suit the bees, at this colder time of year.
About The Presenter
Dr Tim Heard is an entomologist, ex-CSIRO research scientist, and also a long term stingless beekeeper and promoter of native bees. Tim completed his university doctoral studies on using these bees for crop pollination. He has since published 60 research papers and popular articles on bees and pollination. He transferred his first hive from a cut down tree into a wooden box in 1985 and now manages hundreds of hives of three species around south east Queensland, obtained by rescuing threatened wild hives and dividing existing hives. He has presented workshops and seminars for more than 20 years on bees in general and keeping stingless bees in particular. He is the author of The Australian Native Bee Book (best seller and multi award winner).