Brisbane Branch – April 2024

Brisbane Branch meet from 1- 3pm on the 3rd Sunday of each month at Bulimba Community Centre, 1 Barramul St, Bulimba. Visitors and new members are welcome.

Our usual format is a talk by a guest speaker, followed by time to mingle and discuss show and tell bee items that members have brought. We also encourage our more commercial members to bring along some of their products to display or sell. People attending the Brisbane branch meetings can often find empty stingless bee boxes, bee hotels, bee books, posters, or occasionally honey for sale.

We also have the branch library with about 10 really good native bee books that members can borrow.

Last meeting—March
On the 17th March, our guest speaker was Dr James Makinson, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Stingless Bee Biology and Pollination Services at Western Sydney University. Dr James talk spoke about his studies near Darwin N.T. in 2021 – 2023, where he looked at the effectiveness of wild and managed stingless bees for the pollination of mangos. This was fascinating for me, as I started to learn about
the cute, blue eyed Tetragonula mellipes (making up 94% of observed colonies in the study area), and the undescribed Tetragonula that has been called “N.T. hockingsi”. James shared interesting stories about his field work where he found stingless bee nests in rock
walls, in the ground, and in steel posts in direct sunlight. He also recounted how these NT bees seem to love heat, even collecting melted bitumen when it gets hot enough for the roads to melt. “It’s OK” he told us “I tasted the honey from a pot made from road bitumen and it still tasted ok…”. Back on more scientific grounds, James presented graphs and statistics showing that the NT stingless bees were very effective pollinators of mangos, compared to other pollinators such as blowflies and hover flies. We thank James very much for presenting at the Brisbane branch, and for making the journey to Brisbane, from Lismore in NSW.

Exciting presentation coming up for 21st April at 1pm, we will have Prof James Cook presenting “Horticulture Innovation / Agrifutures project supporting the health and expansion of Australian Stingless Bee Industry”. This promises to be a very interesting session, as native bees continue to prove their worth as the pollinators of tomorrow. The Australian Native Bee Association, and certain key Universities
have been instrumental in capturing the interest of government bodies. The funding coming from this will enable Aussies to continue enjoying native bees, and promoting their environmental, economic, and food production benefits. It will be well worth coming along for the presentation, and to chat with other members over a cup of coffee.

I would like to encourage members to bring bee attracting plants or seeds along to the next couple of meetings to swap with other members. With our recent rains and cooler weather, it’s a great time to thin your gardens or plant new things.

The QLD Garden expo (in Nambour) is coming up in 4-7 th July. Brisbane branch have been going there the last couple of years, and volunteers report that the bonding with other club members, and interaction with the public is extremely rewarding. The gazebo that we man is often swamped 2 to 3 people deep, such is the thirst for knowledge. With a 4-day event this year, we are asking now for volunteers. Please email Greg Shea or Dean Haley (email addresses on the ANBA web site). From Dean Haley For more info on branch, visit our Facebook page.

News & Notices