Beekeepers have a new tool to keep their colonies healthy, with the publication of a landmark reference book by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Honey and Pollen Flora of South-Eastern Australia.
NSW DPI Technical Specialist Bees and author Dr Doug Somerville said the book focuses on the value of key plants to nectar feeding animals in Australia with particular emphasis on honey bee nutritional requirements.
“Successful beekeepers understand the biology and value of floral resources which provide critical nectar and pollen to their bee hives, keeping them healthy and profitable,” Dr Somerville said.
“The book distils over 30 years of research and the real world experience of hundreds of professional beekeepers, which will contribute to a substantial increase in floral understanding in apiculture.”
From Acacia to Xanthorrhoea species, over 500 plants are photographed and described for easy identification, mapped, and given a star rating for their value to honey bees either as a source of nectar, pollen or both.
Plant species of value to beekeeping from southern Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania are detailed in the book, which covers:
- What makes an ideal apiary site?
- Hive stocking rate
- Honey bee nutrition
- Star rating
- A note on flowering charts
- What’s in a name?
- Describing plants
- List families – genus/species
- Individual plant profiles