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Ascospharea apis aka…Chalkbrood

Although chalk brood has a global distribution, little is known about Australian strains of A. apis and its virulence toward honey bees.  We are working to rectify that!  Here are some pictures of culturing A. apis from chalk brood mummies last month. Ascosphaera apis is the fungus that causes chalkbrood disease in honey bees.  The … Read more Ascospharea apis aka…Chalkbrood

A hive of activity as Australia’s commercial bee keepers are surveyed

An upcoming survey of the Australian honey bee industry will collect baseline data that will provide information on the current economic situation of Australian beekeepers. Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) survey would provide a thorough picture of changes to the national industry along … Read more A hive of activity as Australia’s commercial bee keepers are surveyed

Pollen Up Close

These are some scanning electron micrographs we I took of bee collected pollen.  The first three pictures are from a  load of “yellow” pollen from some Eucalyptus species and last three are from a load of “orange” pollen of uncertain origin.  The next step is to collect pollen directly from plants to make a reference collection.  We can then compare the bee collect pollen against the reference collection to get a more solid idea of what the bees are actually foraging on!


Tasmanian Beekeeper’s Conference Coming Up!

Tasmanian Beekeepers Annual Conference will be held at Tall Timbers Hotel, Smithton on the 29/30th May, 2015 Guest speakers include – Dr Peter Brooks and Daniel Melconceilli, University of Sunshine Coast – A few pointers on producing active Tasmanian Manuka Honey and Authenticating the floral sources of Tasmanian Honey through chemical profilint, and their anit-flammatory … Read more Tasmanian Beekeeper’s Conference Coming Up!

Heat Sensing Camera Images!

Autumn has finally come in full force and with it cooler mornings that have enabled us to test out our new infrared (heat sensing) camera!

Here are some pictures of a few colonies in nesting cavities and in bee boxes .  Ambient temperature this morning was 7-8 C.

IRFeralNestMaldon_2This is a tree on theFeralNestLatrobe La Trobe University Bendigo campus that has a feral honey bee colony in a bird or bat nesting box.  The whitest part of the picture is the nesting box. It is surprising how much heat trees generate!



IRFeralNestMaldon7CFeralNestMaldonThe next three pictures are of another feral nest on the way to Maldon, Victoria from Bendigo.  You can see the heat from the tires of my ute and in the foreground the orangish pink indicating some heat from the tree.  The next picture is a close up of the tree hollow.

IRferalNestMaldonIRcluster7CIRCluster7C_2Finally, some pictures of bees in boxes.  You can see the yellow patch of the cluster in the bottom box of each of the double colonies and see some heat in the mid section of the nucs.  Each of the doubles has a solid 8 frames of bees and the nuc boxes have 5 frames of bees.

In Search of the Super Bee?

Originally Printed in the Australian Bee Journal February 2015 With the absence of Varroa, access to quality nutrition and no harsh winters, Australian honey bees are faring quite well compared to their counterparts around the world. We haven’t seen major colony losses and haven’t had to conduct wide-scale investigations into “what’s killing our bees” because, … Read more In Search of the Super Bee?