Bees & Bugs

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 thoughts on “The Honey Bee in Australia

  1. 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

    • 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.


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