Pollinator Link


Stingless Native Bee hive - insulated with polystyrene

Stingless Native Bee hive – insulated with polystyrene

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By: Michael Fox

A hive of Stingless Native Bees Tetragonula sp. are a fascinating and helpful addition to your Pollinator Link garden, particularly if you are growing Macadamia, Avacado, Strawberries, Rockmelon, Watermelon, Mango, Blueberries or Citrus (Kin Kin Native Bees).

Being stingless, although they do have strong jaws as you will find if they get into your armpit, the Tetragonula sp. are great for urban backyards. Kids can stand close and watch or even let them walk over their hand without risk of stings.

Design of Stingless Native Bee hives has evolved dramatically with designs now allowing for easy harvesting of the unique honey produced by these tiny bees.

Native Bee with large ball of pollen

Native Bee with large ball of pollen

Native bees are very good crop pollinators because they are very good at collecting pollen.

This Stingless Native Bee already has a large ball of pollen on its legs and still collecting more. Watch the bee in the video take off with its pollen collection.

The Red-flowering Gum Corymbia ficifolia produces a spectacular display in O’Grady Street feeding ants and other insects, as well as being very popular with our Stingless Native Bees. Stop for a minute and look for the bees crawling over the flowers.

 

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By: Michael Fox

Brush-turkey mound - 27 Dec 2015

Brush-turkey mound

A special Christmas with a Brush-turkey Alectura lathami chick hatched from mound built in the Fox Gully wildlife corridor. The male turkey has been scratching together mulch, and some plants to build a mound to impress his two girlfriends. He obviously did a good job as we now have at least one new chick in the gully.

Brush-turkeys are a challenge for gardeners however they are part of our bush habitat.

 

 

 

I photographed my first Glasswing Acraea andromacha this week.

The wings of most butterflies are covered with coloured scales. The Glasswing butterfly has no scales on its forewing giving it a translucent glassy appearance. These wings are also very trough which may help given the unusual mating behaviour. Males capture newly emerged females as soon as they fly, carry them to the ground where they mate forcibly. (The Butterflies of Australia – Orr & Kitching) Reading this forces me to look at butterflies very differently. My somewhat romantic view of butterflies as beautiful gentle creatures has come crashing to the ground as well.

The Glasswings are listed as common along the east coast, Victoria, Northern Territory and northern parts of Western Australia.

Food plants for Glasswing caterpillars on Mt Gravatt are the  native Spade Flower Hybanthus stellarioides, a delicate herb with a yellow “spade” shaped flower, and the invasive weed – Corky Passion Vine Passiflora suberosa.

Forty-five butterfly species have been identified on Mt Gravatt and with the development of Pollinator Links through the suburbs we aim to bring more of these beautiful and, it seems, agressive creatures back to backyards.