The Honey Bee in Australia

Before Christmas, I borrowed a couple of books about beekeeping from the local library network. I wanted to learn to identify the bees in my photographs.

books borrowed from the library (Nokia Lumia 520)

The universe thought I wanted a swarm of my own for on my next walk, down the lane by our house, I encountered a very busy hollow in a roadside tree.  No thanks.

The first thing I learned was that…

“In Australia, the name European honey bee is used to denote the Italian, Caucasian, Carniolan and dark German races of bees.”

(Robert Owen: the Australian Beekeeping Manual)

The book has lots of stunning pictures but I found it is next to impossible to identify the bee on my lilac-coloured rose. The first European bees weres introduced to Australia in 1822.

Robert Owen goes on to say…

“While the original four races of bees often have a different colour and possess different characteristic, the Australian honey bee is a mongrel mix of the four races.”

came out of the flower when I disturbed it, but flew back for more pollen
seemingly looking for something – the heart of the flower, perhaps?

The Italian honey bee has more of a yellow or straw colour than either the Caucasians or Carniolan bees. Turns out that most of our feral honey bees are genetically linked to Apis mellifera mellifera – the dark German bee, which is actually native to large areas of Europe.

Anyway, specific identification is near impossible then.

nope, not there… (Nikon D3000)

I wonder if the second book encourages me to keep stingless bees for sugarbag honey – whatever that is. Sounds intriguing. I’ll let you know.



7 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the pictures, I will show Julius. I only thought ‘sugar bag’ was a type of ant, didn’t know it was a bee as well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue, you must not be logged in or using a different device? My blog isn’t recognising you. I tell you what, a lot of the stingless bees look like ants!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Seeing as my comment never came up I thought I would submit my email again, it’s still connected. Couldn’t remember what you said to do and I don’t know what the icons are for, i don’t have social media sites.
    H E L P

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the signin page (it’s annoying how everyone wants you to sign in using a socail media account these days!) go to ‘forgot your password’. That way you can get a notification with your log in details or a link to get back into the WordPress system. If that doesn’t work – just know that it is waiting for me to manually approve it.


  3. Wow.The clarity is superb her.I had no idea about any bees (hardly) than our own. Thanks for sharing. Most interesting, Christine. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked, Tess. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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