As one of Australia’s foremost bee experts, Lindsay gets a lot of questions, which he’s more than happy to share his knowledge on. Here are some of the most common ones.
What’s the difference between nectar and pollen?
Nectar is the sweet liquid produced by our majestic Australian eucalyptus and ground flora. It’s what bees collect from flowers and produce into honey – and is the beehives’ main source of carbohydrate.
Pollen on the other hand is the powder-like grains collected from flowers, which is the male part of the plant. Bees collect the pollen in their pollen baskets on their hind legs and then take it back to the hive to be eaten or stored for later. Pollen is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and amino acids and is hence the main protein source for the beehive. It stimulates brood rearing and helps the bees make royal jelly to feed to the brood (baby bees).
So since only nectar is used to produce honey, you can set up hives in a low-nectar, high-pollen crop like almonds for our pollination work, and while you’ll have a healthy hive at the end, there’ll actually be little to no honey in them! This sets up the hive well for honey season, when we place them in the best locations with strong eucalyptus and ground flora flows where the nectar is.
How did your dad inspire you to get into beekeeping?
Toddler beekeeper Lindsay.
My dad Roger inspired me to get into bees in so many ways. He was an inventor, entrepreneur, did it his way and an extremely hard worker. He never ga
ve up; I remem
ber many times he would get bogged in the middle of nowhere or a honey flow that was going well would be stopped by a thunderstorm, but he would just deal with the setback and then keep going.
I had two early hives as a teenager and I learnt a lot from that because they were in my care and I needed to look after them. Dad was a very good teacher and he taught myself and many other beekeepers about his passion and knowledge of bees. I was also inspired by the “chase” of the honey flow, the excitement we get from a great flower budding on a particular tree and moving the hives in to hopefully get “the big flow”!