Brisbane Branch News February 2021

The February meeting sees a return to normality for the Brisbane Branch. Everyone is welcome to attend in person to the first meeting of 2021 at THECA, 47 Fleming Rd, Chapel Hill, at 1 pm on Sunday 7 Feb 2021. There is no need to book, it is unlikely we will exceed the maximum of 50 people allowed. Branch business will include a discus-sion on the future directions of the association. The main busines is a talk by Tim Heard titled “POP, the cell provisioning and egg laying behaviour of stingless bees”.

Abstract. POP stands for the Provisioning and Oviposition Process. In stingless bees it is a complex and fascinating behavioural sequence which involves construction of new brood cells by workers, provisioning of the cells with larval food by workers, oviposition in the cells by the queen and sealing of the cells by workers. All species exhibit a com-mon pattern of long periods (hours) of exclusive cell construction alternated with short periods (minutes) of food provisioning, queen oviposition and cell sealing. Despite these universal features, a wide variety of species-specific behaviours have been described, e.g. POP occurs in batch-es in Tetragonula but sequentially in Austroplebeia. Tim will describe and illustrate this process for Australian Stingless bees. Tim Heard is President of the Australian Native Bee Association and author of The Australian Native Bee Book

The March meeting, on Sun 7 Mar 2021, Dr Mary Fletcher, a biochemist from the Uni of Qld will be talking about stingless bee honey. Mary and her colleagues discovered the unique sugar Trehalulose and is currently working to understand the synthesis of this sugar under natural conditions.