Trees and shrubs are planted for a number of reasons on farms and in home gardens which vary from windbreaks, shade, shelter belts for stock and birds, aesthetic reasons, pleasure or bush foods. By carefully selecting the species you may also produce an environment attractive to native, insects and bees.
Unfortunately when we endeavour to attract native bees we also make a friendly environment for the feral European bees as well unless we plant large numbers of Persoonia. Persoonia’s flowers have developed in such a way that only native bees can access the pollen to the detriment of the feral bees. Ha ha ha.
Again unfortunately data has only ever been collected and maintain on the domestic bee with the honey trade in mind. It is doubtful whether enough flowering shrubs and trees can be planted on an average size farm or recreational area to be a major benefit to commercial beekeeping. There is good reason to believe they can benefit small static apiaries working from their back yards or on surrounding farms. Commercial stocking rates for bee hives is about 1 working hive needs 4 to 12 hectares depending on the plants grown, densities and seasons. This figure varies with the honey and pollen yielding capacity of the flora and this can vary greatly on the seasons.
Native bees need far less area to survive and can survive in areas that are barren to the European bee. The hives are much smaller and make interesting pets for the home gardener. Remember there are 10 native species of hive honey bees to select from and over 1600 pollen flies or stingless solitary bees to attract to your garden many of which people think are flies. Consider these points before selecting species on the basis of honey and pollen yielding capacity:
* Persoonia sp. will attract native colony bees and help eliminate the feral bees from your garden. The feral bee will quickly work out that your garden is non productive and will be less attractive to them. The good news is that while they are not attractive to native pollen flies the native pollen flies working alone will be attracted to the other flowers in the garden that will not sustain the heavier feral bees.
* Multiple plantings of a range of species at different tiers are more desirable than two or three plants of many species and offer food sources throughout the year.
* Choose specie that will grow well in your area. As stated in the introduction to this book have a good look around your district and list species which are performing well in your aspect and soil. When planting in areas where bees are required to pollinate crops, select species which flower at different times to the crops grown.
* Selecting native winter flowering species for the Tablelands and other cold areas is another way to support native bees and deter feral bees. The temperatures are often too low for feral bees to work these flowers efficiently and if they do, health problems in the colony may result. Native bees; especially those that are from the local area are less likely to suffer cold problems. To break into the warmer months the use of Persoonia can also eliminate early food sources for the feral bees giving the local natives a further advantage. Most Persoonia flower all year with a peak in late winter early spring as the weather warms up.
* When planting near drains, sewers, paths, other underground amenities and buildings, consider whether the plantings may cause damage in the future.
* Select salt tolerant species in areas where saline conditions exist, or may be, a problem or required in the future.
* Windbreaks should be planted three to four plants wide. Consider an extra one or two rows for honey and pollen production, and to increase the aesthetic appeal of the plantings.
* Small tubular flowers in blue, white or yellow will help attract butterflies and other insects to the garden which have relatively long proboscis for such flowers.
* Bird attractive plants should be a mixture of dense foliages, at all tiers, mixed with open foliaged plants and plants with thorns, spines, prickles or pungent foliages for the smaller and medium birds to seek shelter.
* The best way to attract birds is to have a safe place free of cats and water stations as discussed in the section on “Garden Friends.”
* Other insects are best attracted by having areas with mulch, logs and rocks scattered along the wind rows or around the garden. These items can look barren at first but will very quickly become homes to myriads of insects, millipedes, centipedes, lady beetles, mantis, green lace wing which will use these areas as safe havens and winter refuges as well as being habitats for small native marsupials, quails and the like.
The following species generally produce good honey flows and or pollen for the honey industry but are also necessary for myriads of small beetles and other insects, nectar feeding birds and mammals that are at the bottom of the food chain which in turn move up to insectivorous birds and finally the carnivores. Many specie have been included for their ability to attract large numbers of nectar or pollen feeding insects. This makes these plants great for macro photographers looking for a guaranteed supply of insects to photograph or the telescopic photographer looking for birds and mammals to photograph.
Native bees have been observed foraging nectar or pollen from the following families and genre were originally sourced from www.environment.gov.au where the data was collected for the domestic bee mellifera specie.
Keys: H – highly sought after, Med – medium attendance, Low – Low attendance.
Acanthaceae – Avicennia H, Dark blends well.
Aizoaceae – Carpobrotus, Disphyma
Amaranthaceae – Ptilotus
Anacarcdiaceae – Euroschinus
Apiaceae – Trachymene
Araliaceae – Schefflera H
Campanulaceae – Wahlenbergia
Casuarinaceae – Allocasuarina Low, Casuarina Low
Chenopodiaceae – Halosarcia, Rhagodia
Chloanthaceae – Pityrodia
Cornpositae – Brachycome,
Convolvulaceae – Calystegia
Cruciferae – Lepidium
Cunoniaceae – Ceratopetalum H,
Cyperaceae – Cyperus,
Dillenaceae – Hibbertia H – Med
Droseraceae – Drosera Med
Ebenaceae – Diospyros
Eleaocarpaceae – Eleaocarpus Med
Epacridaceae – Acrotriche,
Escalloniaceae – Cuttsia H-Med
Eucryphiaceae – Eucryphia
Euphorbiaceae – Adriana,
Flacourtiaceae – Scolopia
Frankeniaceae – Frankenia H-Med
Geraniaceae – Geranium L,
Goodeniaceae – Brunonia,
Gyrostemonaceae – Gyrostemon
Haemodoraceae – Anigozanthos Med,
Haloragaceae – Glischrocaryon,
Hypoxidaceae – Hypoxis
Iridaceae – Orthrosanthus
Juncaceae – Juncus
Labiatae – Ajuga,
Lecythidaceae – Planchonia
Leguminaceae – Acacia L-H,
Liliaceae – Blandfordia L-Med,
Loganiaceae – Logania
Loranthaceae – Amyema H,
Lythraceae – Lythrum
Malvaceae – Alyogyne Med,
Melastomataceae – Melastoma Med-H
Meliaceae – Melia H
Myoporaceae – Eremophila Med,
Myrsinaceae – Aegicerus
Myrtaceae – Acmena Med,
Onagraceae – Epilobium
Orchidaceae – Dendrobium Med-H,
Oxalidaceae Oxalis Med-H,
Phytolaccaceae – Tersonia
Pittosporaceae – Billardiera Med-H,
Polygalaceae – Comesperma
Polygonaceae – Muehlenbeckia
Primulaceae – Samolus
Proteaceae – Adenanthos Med-H,
Ranunculaceae – Clematis Med-H,
Rhamnaceae – Cryptandra,
Rhizophoraceae – Bruguiera Med
Rosoceae – Rubus Med-H
Rutaceae – Acradenia,
Santalaceae – Choretrum,
Sapindaceae – Alectryon,
Scrophulariaceae – Euphrasia, Derwentia, Stemodia
Smilaceceae – Smilax Med
Solanaceae – Anthocercis,
Stackhousiaceae – Stackhousia Med-H
Sterculiaceae – Argyrodendron,
Stylidiaceae – Stylidium
Surianaceae – Stylobasium
Thymelaeaceae – Pimelea L-Med
Umbelliferae – Actinotus,
Violaceae – Hybanthos L-Med, Viola L
Winteraceae – Tasmania
Zygophyllaceae – Zygophyllum
Further comments From Members:
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