Tony’s the bee rescuer
CHILDERS man Tony Harvey comes prepared with chainsaw and hoist when he responds to calls to rescue native bees after hours and on weekends.
In spring and summer when the bees are most active, Mr Harvey saves about eight hives a month.
Native bees prefer hollow trees to nest in but dead trees are often removed for safety.
As a result Mr Harvey finds bees in wall cavities, water meter boxes, even barbecues.
When a hive becomes exposed to the weather it is vulnerable to predators like syrphid and phorid flies.
Hive beetles lay eggs in weak hives, killing the colony in a matter of days. This is why damaged hives are transferred to boxes that also make them portable for a pollination service at crop farms.
Wide Bay is home to three species of social stingless bees: Tetragonula Hockingsi, Carbonaria and Austroplebeia australis.
All are black, 4mm long and with large back legs on which to store pollen.
Australis has a small sand coloured marking, but is identified by the veil of wax they build at the entrance of their hive each night, while Hockingsi bees are slightly bigger and their broods look messy compared to other hives.
Native bees produce less than a kilo of “sugar bag” a year, while apiarists can collect 25 kilograms of honey from European beehives.
To attract bees you can plant native trees like candle nut, lilly pilly and callistemons.
Details for a workshop on September 6 will be posted on the Wide Bay Stingless Bees Facebook page.
Mr Harvey will be at the Woodgate Easter Fair on Monday at site E15.
You can phone Tony on 0499 027 115.
MOVING HOUSE: Tony Harvey unloads a log hive.