FAQs Stingless Bee Honey Oath Hives
Why are BBG Beauty Bees Giftware Honey Oath Hive Boxes only sourced from Hoop Pine?
Hoop pine is suitable for the climatic conditions in coastal Brisbane, Queensland. It is a great insulator, light, a lower density and moderately durable timber which lasts a long time when maintained correctly. Hoop pine hive boxes are known to be in great working order 30 years after production when well-maintained (Tim Heard, 2016). They are not as durable as hardwood or cypress pine but this is easily overcome with good painting, maintenance and a protective roof/shelter.
I’m planning to harvest honey or split, what should I know before proceeding?
Native Stingless Bees do not produce honey like Honey Bees. Generally, the honey storing process is very slow. It should only be harvested once in a 12 month period as a minimum if your hive has increased its mass by at the very least 1kg. Only a very small amount can be harvested from boxed hives in warmer parts of Australia. Never split a hive during winter or even two months prior to winter as your colony will not survive the winter season. Always do your research and contact a professional to gain the correct advice and technique for harvesting prior to starting. Colder regions will require additional supplies and professional advice before splitting.
Always seek advice from your local native stingless bee professional and remember that thorough planning of your split or honey harvest is your best measure of success.
Never perform a split and honey harvest at the same time. It should only be one or the other. If you decide to harvest honey, do not split your hive until 12 months after your harvest and vice versa. If you decide to split your hive, do not harvest the honey for 12 months afterwards.
You hive is naturally weakened after splitting and or harvesting. Spilt honey super during splitting attracts pests so always wipe up any spillage and tape your boxes up firmly. Some common predators include the Small Hive Beetle, Phorid flies and syrphid flies that lay their eggs in honey and pollen stores, even in the creases/seams of the hive from the outside. Seal up your hives well after splitting. It’s their best natural defence.
How can I prevent pests of entering my new box hive?
Your bees are full self-sufficient and should be able to manage any pest issues if the colony is strong and healthy. When you purchase your box hive, it comes with a flyscreen mesh on the back ventilation hole and resin on the entrance hole for better protection during the introductory period for your bees. As mentioned, ensure you have cleaned any honey spillage and have firmly secured any gaps in between box sections with tape or plastic strapping.
If you are in a situation where intervention or exploration is required we recommend using trusted and sourced methods only. Always speak to a professional or contact the ANBA (Australian Native Bee Association). Alternatively purchase a book from an expert such as Tim Heard’s The Australian Native Bee Book and Greg Coonan’s Keeping Australian Native Stingless Bees book.
What is the purpose of the drainage hole in the bottom brood box?
Your Honey Oath Hive Box comes with a drainage hole that is secured with fly screen mesh and covered tape. Occasionally when splitting a hive or placing a rescue brood into a new box hive, excess escaped honey from this process can leak into the hive box. The drainage hole allows you to drainage away the excess safely. Please seek professional advice when doing this.
What is the best position for Native Stingless Bees within my garden?
If you are new to Native Stingless Bees, finding a warm spot where the opening of the hive has morning sun (essential for winter) in a north to north-easterly direction if possible. BBG Beauty Bees Giftware is located in North Brisbane, our hives are in a shaded position from 9.30am particularly in warmer seasons. The site must have protection from the elements such as extreme heat, afternoon sun heat and cold winds.
Winter sun is very important to keeping your bees active, healthy and alive. You can place a polystyrene foam box over your hives at night to help insulate if required. Remember to remove towards later winter.
How can I support my stingless bee food sources?
Native Stingless Bees benefit from having pollen and nectar resources that are available all year round within 500 metres of their hive. We highly recommend designing and planning your garden to suit these needs which will in turn see your bees thrive and boost their population.
BBG Beauty Bees Giftware encourage the use of native plants as much as possible however they will also benefit very well from introduced flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetable blooms. A sustainable garden using crop pollination is a bee paradise!
Providing safe water supply is also essential. Butterfly/Bee Ponds can be purchased through BBG Beauty Bees Giftware and or made from simple materials at your home.
What’s the rule on using Insecticides, Pesticides & Poisons?
House and garden insecticides, pesticides and poisons can be fatal to native stingless bees. Being an airborne chemical you must be aware and ensure your bees do not come in contact with these chemicals which can be active with contact for up to 48 hours after use. Let your neighbours know that you have bees and to warn you a few days prior to using chemicals so that you have time to prepare and keep your colony safe if need be.
if you are wanting to avoid pests in your garden, look at natural deterrents and sources for pest issues. Ask your local professional stingless bee expert or club for more information.
Warranties and Further Information
We do not offer warranties on our hive boxes which is why we give you complete transparency on how our hives are made, what and where you can do to find guidance moving forward, to maintain your hive boxes.
All our advice is general only and may not suit your location or climate. You can find numerous online resources and local native stingless bee experts. We recommend joining the ANBA (Australian Native Bee Association) so that you can connect with like-minded people and gain support if you are new to Native Stingless Bees. We also recommend the purchase of Tim Heards The Australian Native Bee Book and Greg Coonan’s Keeping Australian Native Stingless Bees book.
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