Australian queens and cool weather

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Sorry,  not an Aussie,  but a Yank, and I have a question.  :)

I have a swarm that I caught that a pro-beek called me about. It was too far for him to capture. What is one swarm when you have 1500 hives. Anyway, the swarm was from one of his hives at a pollinating contract. He had used Australian queens early in our spring time as they were the only queens available at the time. He thought that the swarm may have been from a hive with an Australian queen.

This hive flies in colder weather than all my other Italian queened hives. They will fly and forage in 5C or 6C weather. I am wondering if y'all have a major bloom that occurs in cool weather and your bees have adapted to foraging in cool weather?



My bees forage in 6 degrees centigrade but they get out of bed later.

I imagine it would depend on where they come from. Oz goes from real tropical in the far north of the continent to brass monkey weather in the deep south. Frankly I dont know where the major queen raising areas for export are. My queens when I have to buy them come locally. There has to be an export industry for queens as I am aware that US buyers have been using them for some years.

The following link provides a link of queen breeders who export From the phone numbers most breeders seem to be in New South Wales and Queensland.. central and northern areas of the east coast


I live in Finland at the level of Ancgorage. I may see sometimes that bees goes to flowers if there are  very tasty nectar.

Flying in low temperature is a dangerous job to bees. A lot of bees will die if they go to forage in ultimate weather. In many years half or foragers have died when they goes to willow, and then comes  clouds in fromt of sun. Bees drop down and never arise again.

I read from an Australian reserch that bees there can make full pollen balls  if temp is 16C.
I noticed that it is same in Finland . Bees may collect pollen on ground level even in +5C if sun shines brigtly but they cannot rise to willow flowers in that temp.

In our nature flowers make nectar if day temp is over 20C.  In the morning nectar has so much water that it is no use even if bees fly very early.

Often when bees fly in bad weather, they brĂ­ng drinking water to make larva food. That flying may happen 2 hours in the morning.

As you know about humans, busy and stupid is the most dangerous combination in humans. I think that in bees it is the same .

At 13 degrees C an odd bee will be out and about but at 12 they and I will still be in bed.

Off topic just a little, but must say something quickly.  My first package bees in 2005 came from Australia, they were wonderful, strong, gentle, docile, couldn't say enough good things about the Australian package of bees (and queens too, smiling), just taking my hat off to the beautiful colonies I got, from way down under.  Have that most beautiful, most awesome day, health. Cindi


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