Saturday, 12 May 2018

Neonicotinoid Products, You Might be Surprised!

Illustration Tony Linka

Earlier this week I wrote about the UN declaring the 20th of May each year as Word Bee Day. The EU has taken up the issue of harmful pesticides and their affect on bees and voted to ban the outdoor use of the neonicotinoid group of insecticides because they are so harmful to bees. It is not my intention to bombard with an overload of information but felt that the full list of commercially available products in Australia which fall within this group should be included in this post. Some of which are used in agricultural/veterinary preparations, however there are some that are used for the domestic market too that may be familiar to you. This information was sourced from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. 

Following is a list of chemicals that make up the neonicotinoid group and the brand name that chemical is sold under in Australia:

Acetamiprid

  • Acetamiprid
  • Echem Acetamiprid 225 Insecticide
  • Primal Insecticide
  • Acetamiprid
  • Defender Concentrate Maxguard Systemic, Contact & Residual Insecticide
  • Defender Maxguard Systemic, Contact & Residual Insecticide Kills & Controls
  • Crown 225sl Systemic Insecticide
  • Intruder Insecticide
  • Acetamiprid
  • Supreme 225 Sl Insecticide

Clothianidin

  • Clothianidin
  • Dantop Systemic Insecticide
  • Sumitomo Shield Systemic Insecticide
  • Sumitomo Stealth Systemic Insecticide
  • Sumitomo Samurai Systemic Insecticide
  • Clothianidin

Thiacloprid

  • Piranha Dip For Sheep
  • Lineout Insecticide
  • Thiacloprid
  • Calypso 480 Sc Insecticide
  • Imidacloprid
  • 4farmers Imid-Triadimenol Seed Dressing
  • 4farmers Imidacloprid 200sc Insecticide
  • 4farmers Imidacloprid 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Ac Impressor 350 Soil Insecticide
  • Ac Impressor 600 Seed Dressing
  • Accensi Imidacloprid 200 Sc Termiticide
  • Accensi Imidacloprid Hose-On Lawn Insecticide
  • Accensi Imidacloprid Lawn & Garden Insecticide
  • Accensi Imidacloprid Ready To Use Insecticide
  • Accensi Imidacloprid Turf And Ornamental Insecticide
  • Accensi Rose Spray Advanced Insect, Mite & Disease Control Rtu
  • Agmate Imidacloprid 600 Fs Insecticide
  • Agrimart Imidacloprid 200 Insecticide
  • Agro-Essence Imidacloprid 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Agro-Essence Insecticide Imidacloprid 600fs
  • Agrocn Imidacloprid 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Agspray Aphid Guard 200 Sc Aphicide/Insecticide
  • Amgrow Conquer Hose-On Lawn Insecticide
  • Amgrow Conquer Lawn & Garden Insecticide
  • Amgrow Conquer Ready To Use Insecticide
  • Amgrow Rose Spray Advanced Ready To Use
  • Amparo Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Antmaster Liquid Bait
  • Apparent Imidacloprid 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Apparent Imidacloprid 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Apparent Imidacloprid 600 Sc Insecticide
  • Arrow Plus Seed Treatment
  • Avenge Pour-On Lousicide For Sheep
  • Aw Inflict 600 Seed Dressing
  • Imidacloprid
  • Aw Irrupt 350 Soil Insecticide
  • Barmac Imidaturf Turf And Ornamental Insecticide
  • Baygon Fly Control Window Stickers Flower
  • Bithor Water-Based Insecticide
  • Blattanex Cockroach Gel Bait
  • Brunnings Imidacloprid Bug Kill Systemic Insect Control
  • Brunnings Lawn Grub & Beetle Kill
  • Brunnings Lawn Grub & Beetle Kill Concentrate
  • Chaindrite Utility Insecticide
  • Choice Immi 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Confederate 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Confederate 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Confederate 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Confidor 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Confidor Concentrate Insecticide
  • Confidor Garden Insecticide
  • Confidor Guard Soil Insecticide
  • Confidor Hose-On Lawn Insecticide
  • Confidor Plant Insecticide
  • Confidor Ready To Use Insecticide
  • Conquest Imida 600 Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Conquest Imidah 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Country Imidacloprid 200 Sc Termiticide
  • Couraze 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Couraze Classic Insecticide
  • Covert Cockroach Gel Bait
  • Crop Culture Komondor 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Easyfarm Imidacloprid 350 Soil Insecticide
  • Echem Imidacloprid 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Emerge Flowable Seed Treatment

Imidacloprid

  • Enviromax Imidacloprid 200sc Termiticide & Insecticide
  • Enviromax Imidacloprid 200sc Turf, Crop & Ornamental Insecticide
  • Ezycrop Imidacloprid 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Ezycrop Imidacloprid 350 Soil Insecticide
  • Ezycrop Imidacloprid 600 Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Farmalinx Imi 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Farmalinx Imi 600 Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Farmoz Dominion 200 Sc Termiticide
  • Farmoz Kohinor 200 Insecticide
  • Fmc Imidacloprid 600 Insecticide
  • Foliarflo Plus Seed Treatment
  • Forward Imidacloprid 600 Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Gaucho 350 Flowable Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Gaucho 600 Flowable Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Gaucho 600 Red Flowable Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Genero 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Genfarm Imidacloprid 200sc Insecticide
  • Genfarm Imidacloprid 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Granular Products Imidacloprid 350 Soil Insecticide
  • Guardian Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Hombre Cereal Seed Treatment
  • Hombre Ultra Cereal Seed Treatment
  • Hortico Imidacloprid Systemic Insect Killer
  • Hortico Systemic Insect Killer Imidacloprid Concentrate
  • Imidacloprid 3.5% Pour-On Lice Treatment For Sheep
  • Imiforce 200sc Termiticide
  • Imiforce Utility Insecticide
  • Impress 350 Soil Insecticide
  • Imtrade Annihilate 200 Sc All Purpose Insecticide
  • Imtrade Imidacloprid 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Initiator Systemic Plant Insecticide And Fertiliser
  • Kenso Agcare Imi-Ken 200sc Termiticide
  • Kenso Agcare Savage 200 Insecticide
  • Kenso Agcare Savage 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Kohinor 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Masmart Imi – Flow 600 Red Seed Treatment
  • Masmart Imi-Flow 200 Insecticide
  • Masmart Imi-Flow 600 Seed Treatment
  • Maxforce Gel Insecticide
  • Maxforce Quantum Liquid Ant Bait
  • Maxforce White Cockroach Gel
  • Merit Turf And Ornamental Insecticide
  • Mission Imidacloprid 200 Sc All Purpose Insecticide
  • Mission Imidacloprid 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Mortein Naturgard Fly Control Window Stickers
  • Mortein Naturgard Fly Control Window Stickers Trusted Household Protection Louie The Fly
  • Novaguard Imidacloprid 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Novaguard Imidacloprid 350 Soil Insecticide
  • Novaguard Imidacloprid 600 Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Nufarm Mallet Turf And Ornamental Insecticide
  • Nufarm Nuprid 200sc Insecticide
  • Nufarm Nuprid 350sc Insecticide
  • Nufarm Nuprid 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Nufarm Nuprid 600 Red Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Nufarm Nuprid 700wg Insecticide
  • Nufarm Preface 200sc Termiticide
  • Ospray Couraze 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Ozcrop Imidacloprid 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Ozcrop Imidacloprid 600 Fs Insecticide
  • Pacific Imidacloprid 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Permatek Im 30 Insecticide
  • Pest Controllers Own Imidacloprid 200sc Termiticide
  • Picus Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Preminator Termiticide
  • Premise 200 Sc Termiticide
  • Premise Foam Insecticide
  • Pride Insecticide
  • Proguard Plus Seed Treatment
  • Proleaf Plus Seed Treatment
  • Protect-Us Multiag Insecticide
  • Protectaflo Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Prothor 200 Sc Termiticide
  • Provado 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Quickbayt Fly Bait
  • Quickbayt Spray Fly Bait
  • Rainbow Imidacloprid 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Rainbow Imidacloprid 600 Sc Insecticide
  • Relay 200 Sc Termiticide
  • Rentokil Prothor 200 Sc Termiticide
  • Resource Gardening Systemic Insect Control Ready To Use
  • Revenge Pour-On Lice Treatment For Sheep
  • Richgro Bug Killa Granular Garden Insecticide
  • Roachkill Home Cockroach Gel Bait
  • Rygel Imidacloprid 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Sabakem Imidacloprid 350sc Soil Insecticide
  • Sabakem Imidacloprid 600fs Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Searles Conguard Garden & Lawn Insecticide
  • Searles Conguard Garden Insecticide
  • Senator 350 Sc Insecticide
  • Senator 600 Flowable Seed Treatment
  • Senator 600 Red Flowable Seed Treatment
  • Senator 700wg Insecticide
  • Sharda Imidacloprid 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Sharp Shooter Complete Bug & Insect Spray Imidacloprid
  • Sharp Shooter Complete Bug & Insect Spray Imidacloprid Concentrate
  • Sharp Shooter Complete Lawn Grub & Beetle Killer Hose On Imidacloprid Systemic Insecticide
  • Sharp Shooter Complete Lawn Grub & Beetle Killer Imidacloprid Systemic Insecticide Concentrate
  • Sherwood Imiforce 200sc Termiticide
  • Silvashield Injectable Tree Insecticide
  • Sindor 200 Sc Insecticide
  • Sinochem Intersect 200sc Insecticide
  • Smart Imidacloprid 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Solfac Duo Residual Insecticide
  • Sovenge 3.5% Pour-On Lice Treatment For Sheep
  • Superway Imidacloprid 200 Insecticide
  • Surefire Flystar Bait
  • Surefire Spectrum 200sc Insecticide
  • Surefire Spectrum 350 Sc Soil Insecticide
  • Suscon Maxi Soil Insecticide
  • Suscon Yellow Intel Insecticide
  • Systemic Advanced Control Yates Rose Gun Advanced Insect, Mite & Disease Control
  • Systemic Advanced Control Yates Rose Shield Advanced Insect, Mite & Disease Control
  • Tanalith Ti Insecticide
  • Temprid 75 Residual Insecticide
  • Termatrix Termite Foam Insecticide
  • Titan Imidacloprid 200 Insecticide
  • Titan Imidacloprid 600 Flowable Seed Dressing Insecticide
  • Trespass 350 Insecticide
  • Tri-Power Seed Treatment
  • Turf Culture Tirem 200sc Insecticide
  • Vectothor Fly Bait
  • Veteran Plus Seed Treatment
  • Voodoo 200 Insecticide
  • Voodoo Guard Soil Insecticide
  • Yates Complete Lawn Insect Control
  • Yates Confidor Lawn & Garden Insecticide
  • Yates Confidor Ready To Use Insecticide
  • Yates Confidor Tablets Garden Insecticide
  • Zero Tolerance On Cockroaches Rentokil Advanced Cockroach Gel Bait
  • Zooter 600 Seed Treatment Insecticide
  • Zooter Soil Guard Insecticide
  • Zorro Cereal Seed Treatment
  • Advantage For Cats Over 4 Kg
  • Advantage For Dogs 10 – 25 Kg
  • Advantage For Dogs 4 – 10 Kg
  • Advantage For Dogs Over 25 Kg
  • Advantage For Kittens & Small Cats Up To 4 Kg
  • Advantage For Puppies & Small Dogs Up To 4 Kg
  • Advantix For Dogs 10-25kg
  • Advantix For Dogs 4-10kg
  • Advantix For Dogs Over 25kg
  • Advantix For Puppies And Small Dogs Up To 4kg
  • Advocate For Cats Over 4kg
  • Advocate For Dogs 10-25 Kg
  • Advocate For Dogs 4-10 Kg
  • Advocate For Dogs Over 25kg
  • Advocate For Kittens And Small Cats Up To 4kg
  • Advocate For Puppies And Small Dogs Up To 4 Kg
  • Imidacloprid 3.5% Pour-On Lice Treatment For Sheep
  • Avenge Pour-On Lousicide For Sheep

Thiamethoxam

  • Thiamethoxam
  • Voliam Flexi Insecticide
  • Resolva All-In-One Bug And Fungus Killer With Tmx Plantguard For Tomatoes
  • Talon Ant Killer Gel
  • Cruiser Opti Insecticide Seed Treatment
  • Cruiser Extreme Insecticide Seed Treatment
  • Resolva Liquid Concentrate Bug Killer With Tmx Plantguard For Your Ornamentals And Tomatoes
  • Resolva Protect And Feed Bug Killer Granules With Tmx Plantguard
  • Durivo Insecticide
  • Resolva All-In-One Bug And Fungus Killer With Tmx Plantguard
  • Optigard Ant Bait Gel
  • Meridian Turf Insecticide
  • Actara Insecticide
  • Agita 10 Fly Bait
  • Agita 100 Plus Fly Spray And Paint-On
  • Cruiser 350 Fs Insecticide Seed Treatment
  • Cruiser 600 Fs Insecticide Seed Treatment 

Agricultural seeds are treated before sowing and there is enough chemical absorbed by the seed to affect the mature plant, amazing! In direct application these systemic pesticides are absorbed by the plant's foliage, rather than just sitting on the surface so it spreads to all parts of the plant - that is the leaves, stems, roots, and flowers including the pollen. The tablet form (of Confidor) which is buried under (for instance) azalea bushes to control lace bug that disfigures the foliage poses the exact same danger to bees as does the spray form. Bunnings, Mitre 10, Woolworths and Coles have made the ground breaking decision to cease selling Confidor this year. 

Confidor, for instance is marketed as a control for aphids, mealy bugs, scale, thrips, whitefly and other sucking insects on ornamentals, roses and veggies. Most of these pests can be dealt with by horticultural oils, perhaps not as fast a complete knock down as Confidor, but none the less will give good results.

It has been suggested that exposure to the chemicals affect the bees' navigational and immune systems, making them more vulnerable to parasitic infections, and ultimately resulting in colony collapse. Native bees are not immune either as they forage on crops and in our gardens too where these insecticides are used. 

Please be mindful that this post is being written from a home gardener's perspective and it is only my intention to make home gardeners aware just how damaging this group of insecticides are to bees (and potentially ourselves). 

Bees are the most important insect pollinators of flowers - they are absolutely essential for the production of agricultural crops, fruit, certain vegetables and flowers. They are a major link in the ecosystem and any threat to them is ultimately a threat to us too. We need to as a collective group, be proactive in preserving the health and vibrancy of bee populations. If this means that we don't use certain chemicals, this is a small price to pay (in my opinion) in the larger picture of preserving our bee colonies. 

Friday, 11 May 2018

Bee Informed, Bee Aware - World Bee Day

Carniolan honey bee - Image: Simon Kovačič, 2016
Just goes to show how a simple idea can develop (as in this instance) and blossom into a world wide event. The idea of a World Bee Day came from the Slovenian Beekeeper's Association. Slovenia has the most beekeepers per capita throughout the world - every 200th person is a beekeeper! 

It may have taken three years of effort, both in terms of the official procedures within the UN, and the process of informing countries around the world, but that hard grind has paid off for Dejan Židan – head of the World Bee Day project and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia.


The United Nations have announced that World Bee Day will be held on the 20th of May each year. This date was chosen because bees are most active pollinating in the northern hemisphere (in Spring) and for the southern hemisphere, it is a time for harvesting bee products and honey in the Autumn before the hives slow down for the winter.

The chosen day is also the birthday of Anton Janša (1734–1773), who was a pioneer of modern beekeeping and one of the greatest experts in his day. He was the first teacher of modern beekeeping anywhere in the world, appointed by Empress Maria Theresa as a permanent teacher at the (then) new beekeeping school in Vienna.

Solovenian people take their beekeeping very seriously, in fact Slovenia is the only country in the European Union to have introduced legal protection for its bees and in 2011 it became one of the first countries in the EU to prohibit the use of certain pesticides that are harmful to bees. Indeed the indigenous Carniolan honey bee is part of Slovenian national identity.


About honey bees:

COMMON NAME: Honeybee
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Apis mellifera
TYPE: Invertebrates
DIET: Herbivores
GROUP NAME: Colony, swarm
AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: Up to 5 years
SIZE: 0.4 to 0.6 in (workers)
Honeybee hives have throughout history provided humans (and bears 😉) with honey and beeswax. All honeybees are social and cooperative insects and the hive is generally made up of three different types of bee: 



Workers - these bees are the ones seen most by us - they are females that are not sexually developed. They are smaller than the queen, their abdomens are shorter and on their hind legs they possess 'pollen baskets' - these are scoop-shaped surfaces on the bee's back legs, surrounded by stiff hairs. After a flower sprinkles a worker bee with pollen, she can groom the grains into her baskets for storage which is then toted back to the hive. The workers are aptly named as they work as a team doing many tasks - foraging for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), building and protecting the hive, cleaning and circulating air by beating their wings to release a sweet orientation scent (this helps direct other members back to the hive). They are also the undertakers of the hive by removing any bees that have died and disposing of the corpses as far from the hive as possible. Similarly, any diseased or dead brood are quickly removed before the health of the colony is threatened. 
image M. Shaw
worker bee with fully laden 'pollen baskets'
The life span of the worker bee is six weeks during the colony's active season however they live longer (four to eight months) during their less active winter months. These winter workers are loaded with protein and are sometimes referred to as 'fat bees'.
The Queen - is the largest bee in the colony with a long and graceful body and there is only one in each hive. She is the only female with fully developed ovaries. She has two primary functions - to produce chemical scents that help regulate the unity of the colony and to lay eggs, lots of eggs. In fact she could only be described as an egg-laying machine as she is capable of producing up to a massive 2,000 eggs a day. These eggs will spawn the hive's next generation of bees. If the queen dies, workers will create a new queen by feeding one of the female larvae an exclusive diet of a food called 'royal jelly'. This elixir enables the worker to develop into a fertile queen.

Queen bee
The queen may be an egg-laying machine but she is totally incapable of tending to her own basic needs. She can neither feed nor groom herself - she can't even leave the hive to relieve herself so her doting attendants take care of her needs while she tirelessly goes from cell to cell doing what she does best - laying eggs. The queen has a stinger but it is rare for her to use it, queens basically only use their stingers to kill rival queens that may emerge or be introduced in the hive. After emerging from her queen cell, the new virgin queen will mature for a few days. Then she will leave the hive to mate in the air (nuptial flight) with male bees (drones). She can take several mating flights over the next few days. After that time, she will never leave the colony again (unless the colony swarms).
Beekeepers tend to replace the queen after a couple of seasons to ensure maximum productivity, even though a queen can live for 2-3 years. As the queen ages, her egg-laying capability slows down, which results in less and less brood each season - less brood means a smaller colony.
Drones - male bees are called drones, there would be several hundred in each hive during the spring and summer but make up a relatively small percentage of the total hive's population overall. These drones are turfed out for the winter months when the hive goes into a lean survival mode. Unlike the female worker bees, drones do not have stingers and their primary role is to mate with a fertile queen. Although they are important in controlling the temperature and humidity within the hive. Research indicates that drones can produce one and half times as much heat as a worker bee, and that even those drones not directly next to the brood, are never the less assisting with heat regulation inside the nest. Honeybee larvae and pupae are extremely stenothermic, which means they strongly depend on accurate regulation of brood nest temperature for proper development (33–36°C).
Drone - male bee

The drone's shape is different from both worker bees and the queen. His shape is in fact more like a barrel and his eyes are huge and seem to cover his entire head. He doesn't forage for food from flowers, and he doesn't have any pollen baskets; he doesn't help with the building of comb, because he doesn't have any wax-producing glands; nor can the drone bee help defend the hive as he doesn't have a stinger.... the single purpose for this feller is to mate with the queen.

The queen has an organ inside called the 'spermatheca' and is the receptacle for the sperm. The queen will mate with several drones during her nuptial flight. After mating with the queen, the drone's most personal apparatus is torn away and it falls to its death and the worker bees will remove the body - it's a tough life for a drone.


Understanding the hive

Worker bees make the hives to store honey and feed themselves throughout the winter. Hives are made of six-sided tubes, which is the optimal shape for storage - less wax and has good capacity. Around the time a worker bee turns 10 days old, she develops a unique wax-producing gland inside her abdomen. 

The glands of worker bees convert the sugar contents of honey into wax, which oozes from their abdominal glands in tiny flakes of wax. Workers chew these pieces of wax until soft and malleable, then the chewed wax, with a little added honey is used in the honeycomb construction. The internal temperature of the hive is usually around 30 to 35 degrees Celsius, the temperature necessary to control the texture of the wax.

The hexagonal cells of the honeycomb are used to house larvae and other brood, as well as storing honey, nectar and pollen. Workers forage for food and gather nectar from different flowering plants bringing them back to the hive for food. They collect nectar by drinking it - after slurping the nectar, it is stored in a kind of pre-stomach and is mixed with a specialised enzyme. After returning to the hive, this substance is passed from one worker to the next until the water within it diminishes. At this point, the nectar becomes honey, which workers then store in the cells of the honeycomb.

The main diet of honey bees is comprised of honey and pollen, they do collect other liquids and juices from plants and fruits as well. If, for instance they encounter insects that secrete honeydew they collect these liquids and store them as honey. However, when there is no pollen, nectar or honeydew available, honey bees may also collect and store plant spores and dusty animal feed as they would nectar or pollen.

They have a wide range of nutritional requirements including vitamin B complex and vitamin C, minerals, lipids, proteins and carbohydrates. Honey bees need these nutrients for taking care of their young, the development of young workers and the overall survival of the colony. For instance worker bees eat beebread (a type of fermented pollen) and honey. Nurse bees mash this into a 'worker jelly' and add glandular secretions.

Development from egg to bee

Bee eggs and brood

Within three days, the eggs (right of image) will develop into larva (left of image). Worker bees initially feed the larva with royal jelly, but this ceases (unless the hive requires a new queen) after a few days. The larva is a striking 'milky' white with the distinctive curled shape developing over time.

Capped brood cells & capped honey cells

Around the time the transformation from larva to pupa takes place (at about day nine) workers will cap the cell. The colour of capped brood is darker and rougher in appearance (cells left of image). This cap is porous, which allows the larvae and eventually the pupae to breath.


Adult drone emerging from capped cell

After a few more days the pupa reaches the state from which the adult bee will emerge from the capped cell - the timetable is different for drones and queens. 

The differences between cells


Worker bee capped cells (left) & Drone capped cells (lower right)
The majority of cells will receive a fertilised egg from the queen, most of which will be worker bees - one egg for each cell. About 20% of the cells are dedicated to drones. These cells are larger in volume and have a darker, rougher cap which bulges out from the cell (resembling a bullet) as the drone is larger than a worker bee. Drone larvae and pupae will survive with slightly lower temperatures than workers. For this reason, drone cells are often placed at the lower edges of the frame, away from the heat formed by the cluster (see image above).


Peanut-like appearance of a queen cell

Queen cells have a peanut-like appearance. There are a number of reasons why they might be created. A colony will often 'build up and tear down' queen cups, with no particular intent to fully develop a new queen. Or if the queen cups are built along the sides of the frames then the colony may be thinking of supersedureIf there is a queen cell developed with a viable potential queen enclosed the current queen may raid that cell and kill this rival.

Capped honey cells
Capped honey cells are usually found at the very top of the frame, this often extends around the corners.

Capped honey cells with nectar filled cells underneath

Usually found just below the capped honey cells are open cells which contain nectar - the bees consume this and feed it to the larvae. 

The different colours of pollen can be seen above

Pollen will be different colours - it rather depends on the source of the pollen. Often there will be shades ranging from bright orange and red to almost black. 

A final word or two on bees


Like some insects, honey bees behave defensively when intruders are near, guarding the entrance to their nests. However, honey bees are able to sting only once because their stingers contain barbs and are attached to the worker's intestines. So when they sting their stingers detach from the body after attacking a victim and while that bee will die shortly afterwards there are pheromones secreted during the attack which will alarm and stimulate other worker bees to attack as well.

This post was written to coincide with World Bee Day, 20 May. We all need to be mindful of these very, very important pollinators and do what we can to preserve them. There is a post from 2014 about bees and the vegetable patch which imparts the importance of bees and our gardens.



A great website for further information about bees and bee products can be found at Buzz About Bees.

A website well worth the visit, if for no other reason than to read a very entertaining account on bees please visit Royal jelly isn't what makes a Queen bee a Queen bee.

Worker honey bees tending the cells

Camellia

Flower of the month - May 2018


image M. Reid 
KINGDOM:  Plantae

ORDER:  Ericales

FAMILY:  Theaceae

GENUS:  Camellia

SPECIES:  Lots

Camellias are evergreen shrubs mostly with dark green slightly waxy leaves which from Autumn through Winter and then into Spring - depending on species and variety.

There are over 180 other species of camellia - and include the tea camellia - C. sinensis (all the world's tea - black and green - comes from plantations of Camellia sinensis). 


C. crapnelliana

Within the Camellia 'family' there are many species. The most well known ones include japonica, sasanqua, reticulata but the most unusual Camellia species is, Camellia crapnelliana. It has seed pods almost as big as a coconut and such a great name!

Don't forget your camellias for the competition table Saturday 19 May.


The Camellia was the flower of the month in June 2016 and in that post there are some 'Growing Problems and Solutions' included which might be interesting if your Camellia is looking a bit crook! Also there is a link to an article written by one of my all time favourite horticultural journos, Angus Stewart.

CHGC visited an Azalea and Camellia nursery in the Bellinger Valley (which has since closed unfortunately) where we saw the most amazing varieties - there are some images found at this post of that outing.




Friday, 4 May 2018

Roll Up, Roll Up and they DID!

 The May outing was a huge success with a very interested crowd to visit two wonderful gardens in the Orara Valley.




We gathered at the first garden for morning tea and a talk from Lyn who told us about the journey of their garden. Gwynne from the Australian Native Plants Society was on hand to answer any questions.

The second garden was immense and a real retreat in the bush. Unfortunately I haven't any photos of this garden so would really appreciate if anyone has some photos to share them here.

Thank you to the 'outings team' for fantastic destinations this month.

2018 Coffs Show Images

The Chief Steward for the Pots, Flowers, Vegetables and Honey has sent some photos from the Show.

























Thanks Margaret - thank you and all your helpers for the display and exhibits in these sections of the 2018 Show.