Plants for honey bees

northey-honey

It is important to encourage bees to our gardens, so that they can help pollinate our fruit and vegetables. The best plants to grow are nectar-producing natives and flowering plants such as basil, borage, catmint, coriander, cornflowers, fennel, garlic chives, heather, hyssop, lavender (heirloom varieties), lemon balm, marigolds, mint, rosemary, scabious and sea holly, thyme.

Jerry Coleby-Williams recommends growing begonias, blue ginger, pigeon peas and salvias to encourage the native Blue Banded bees. He also says:

There’s a lot more I’d recommend, but one crop that is often overlooked is corn – for its pollen.

I’ve planted Eucalyptus tereticornis and Melaleuca leucadendron in my street for honeybees.

I use ‘Honey Flora of Qld’, by S.T. Blake & C. Roff, published by DPI Qld, ISBN 0-7242-2371-1″>0-7242-2371-1 as a standard reference book.

If you aim for a variety of different plants which flower at different times of the year, you’ll have more success with encouraging bees.

Northey Street City Farm honey

Getting started in Australian native stingless bees

Advantages of Australian Native Stingless Bees

The advantages of native stingless bees are that they do not sting and as a result, you need less equipment. The stingless bees help to pollinate the flowers in your garden, which is essential for many fruits and vegetables.

Native bees produce amazing tasting honey but only a small amount (less than 1 kg per hive per year). It’s considered a luxury.

There is no legal requirement to register hives of native bees in Australia.

Aussie native stingless bees are available around Brisbane from the following places:

Trigona carbonaria
(Common in southern Queensland and NSW)

Vince Ashe – Crows Nest (in logs)
Phone: 07 4698 1701

Peter Davenport – Elanora (in boxes)
Phone: 07 5533 9383

Tony Goodrich – Brisbane  (in boxes)
Also supplies OATH hive boxes
Phone: 07 3878 2322
Mobile: 0449 746 970

Kin Kin Native Bees  – Chris Fuller
Boxes with mainly Trigona carbonaria for $350 pick up.
Phone: 07 5485 4454
Email: info@nativebees.com.au
Website: www.nativebees.com.au

My City Garden – The Gap
A 3 tiered hive, tin lid, 2 x honey collection pots, 2 x straps, 2 x black stoppers and approx 5000 funky little bees for $425.
Phone: 0435 226 912
Email: info@mycitygarden.com.au
Website: http://mycitygarden.com.au/category/stingless-bee-hives/

Sugarbag – Tim Heard – Brisbane
Hives in boxes for $400, with $100 delivery.
Phone: 07 3844 4914
Email: tim@sugarbag.net
Website: http://www.sugarbag.net

Don Riding – Clear Mountain (in boxes)
Phone: 07 3298 5253
Email: d.riding@bigpond.net.au
Customer to pick up hives

John Waters, Bardon (in boxes)
Phone: 07 3870 8664
Email: yodaregen@fastmail.fm

Col Webb – Brassall (in logs & boxes)
Phone: 07 3201 7083
Email: coje1122@bigpond.net.au

Russell and Janine Zabel –  Hatton Vale (in boxes)
Phone: 0404 892 139
Email: bees@zabel.com.au
Website: http://www.zabel.com.au

Recommended Native Bee Books

Further Information

  • ANBees – an active forum for discussions on all sorts of Australian native bee topics
  • Aussie Bee – Australian Native Bee Research Centre
  • Bob the Beeman – rescues and relocates colonies of Native Stingless Bees