In Flower Today

Brisbane‘s subtropical winter comes to a happy, floriferous end in mid-August. Today there’s around a hundred different plants flowering, two weeks before Australia’s official first day of spring.

How Do I Grow Sword Beans?

Or more importantly, what are sword beans? Think of sword beans (Canavalia gladiata) as haricot bean alternative. Both are vines and sword bean needs  a garden in a frost-free climate to grow really well. Fancy something different for dinner? I grow sword beans in a sunny spot in compost rich, freely draining soil. I train…

Towards A National Food Plan

Draft notes for Queensland Conservation’s submission to aid in the development of a National Food Plan. The final draft was submitted by QC on 2.9.11… Introduction A National Food Plan is vital for Australia’s ongoing food sovereignty. Food Sovereignty may be defined as a nation’s self-sufficiency in food, where affordable staples are made available to…

New Native Bee Visits ‘Bellis’

I first observed this small native bee working my coriander flowers last week. Clearly it is different from the nine other bees found at ‘Bellis’, helping to pollinate crops.

Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder: Brought You By Bayer CropScience

Nine years after it was reported that due to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides at a landscape level that within years the honeybee may be extinct in England, the European Union agreed a total ban on these bee-killing, bird-killing, fish killing pesticides. Read on…

Honey Flora Report – June

Blue-banded bees are up early, busily pollinating our eggplants and tomatoes. Our potatoes and Phillip Island hibiscus are budding. Meanwhile our honeybees are zooming around gathering far and wide… AUSTRALIAN WILD PLANTS Broad-leaved Paperbark, Melaleuca quinquinervia Forest red gum, Eucalyptus tereticornis Spotted gum, Corymbia citriodora subsp. maculata (syn. C. maculata, Eucalyptus maculata) Brisbane wattle, black…

Hive Society! A Bee And Wasp Gallery

Gardens are full of surprises if you keep your eyes open – and have a camera handy. This autumn, flowering Pigeon peas proved irresistible to six different native bee species. What’s going on in your garden?

Native Bee Day

On Saturday I became the proud owner of a hive of native stingless bees, Trigona carbonaria. Damo had done some web-searching and found that Tim Heard, a CSIRO entomologist and native bee specialist, supplies colonies and his brother, Frank, makes specially designed hives for them. Stingless bees and honeybees happily co-exist. Happily Brisbane provides an…

In Flower Today

The Carpenter bees and mosquitoes are back again – a sure sign of the end of spring.