Organic Food Gardens

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The main focus for our blog is to pass on information and tips about growing food using Permaculture methods, to help vegetable garden owners take responsibility for their garden and their own backyards allowing them to supplement their diet with real whole foods grown by themselves in a fully supported and natural way.


Native Stingless Bees
Native Stingless Bees
Native Stingless Bee Hive

Native stingless bees as the name suggests - don’t sting. 

Australia has many types of native bees. Native bees can be encouraged into a garden by planting lots of colourful flowering plants. Like the European honey bee which we are all familiar with, bees love and are attracted by beautiful colourful smelling flowers. As the bees roam from flower to flower / plant to plant collecting nectar, they are providing pollination for the flowers. Pollination of flowers aids reproduction as well as the formation of fruit. The more bees present in the garden the more likely there will be a increase in fruit forming. For example when citrus trees flower the presence of bees will increase the formation of fruit. Thus plant lots of colourful shrubs around your citrus trees and other fruiting trees.

Native stingless bees are either solitary or they live in a colony. Most are solitary. The solitary bees include the Blue banded bee which has beautiful blue and black strips which I have seen in Canberra and Sydney. Other native solitary bees include the Tiger bee, Teddy bear bee, Gold tipped leafcutter bee all seen in Sydney. There are only 2 types of native bees that live in colonies. Carbonaria stingless bees are found from the South Coast of NSW to Northern Queensland and can be found naturally in the Sydney region. These bees can also be kept in the home garden in a purchased hive or can be naturally encouraged with the planting of native flowering trees and plants. They love blue and purple flowers.

Native bees hives set up in a community garden or a home garden need to be sheltered from the afternoon summer sun. They are active and come out of the hive when the temperature is 18 degrees and above. In winter they are less active. Ideal temperature range is 18 to 40 degrees. Above 40 degrees place a wet towel over the hive to aid with cooling. When the temperature range is in the 20’s and 30 ‘s you will see lots of bee active around the hive and in the garden. Sometimes it’s great to sit by the hive with a cup of tea and watch the native bee activity.

Native Australian people have harvested the honey from Native bees for thousands of years. The honey is used as a sweetener or eaten straight as a treat.

 


 

Blueberries pollinated by bees Bees at the entrance to the Hive The Hive
Bluberries assisted with polination by Bees Bees at the entrance to the Hive
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