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Eucaptus grandis, flooded gum, info

Noticed my colonies were bringing in heaps of nectar and beige pollen en Masse the last week. On quadding around the National Park, I finally found evidence, branches on the ground with flowers of flooded gums.

Pretty chuffed I found out the source. Those trees are so high, you can’t see any of those tiny flowers from the ground.

However, today as of lunchtime, my hive scales are telling me, after a great big morning income, there is now a significant decline.

Does anybody have experience with flooded gum flows?

Just hoping it’s not over yet and the bees just have to find others in pockets of the NP with different flowering timing.

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They grow to 55 metres and a very common tree both on the East Coast and in W.A. Maybe the tallest of the Eucalyptus. Sadly they are a valuable timber.
They flower well but not easy to see the flower being high off the ground. I worked them in the lower Blue Mountains west of Sydney for a light colored and very sweet honey and a fairly good pollen producer and a long flowering period. The common name is a Rose Gum.

Thanks Peter. Yes, timber cut from it is definitely a beautiful rose Colour.
We sometimes get a mobile saw mill up here to cut some of our timber.
We have a tallow wood table from one piece of timber good for 20 people. Awesome.

I heard the flooded gum pollen is above average for the bees, just wondered why the nectar income all tapered off today after lunch.
The bees brought in 500 to 1000g this morning, as in previous days, but then nothing all Arvo.
6 days of flowering is not long yet. I wish it went on for a couple of weeks.

You said it has a long flowering season?

Hi @Webclan
Did a cold change sweep through by any chance? Supposed to result in an immediate cessation of nectar production in eucalypts.

Had a cold spell just before the flowering started (chilly 10C). All mellow now. Nights 12-14C, days well above 20C since then.

Quite excited in any case to have found their source. Took a bit of searching.

Hi @Webclan There goes that theory then …:neutral_face:
I hope the nectar comes back for you…surely it must. I find binoculars are good for looking at the flowers up in the gums :smiley:

Yah, tried that. They are just too bloomin’ high and the flowers are so small. Just found some tips whipped off the trees. Ridiculous flower size for such a big tree.
But my family is into drones, so on the weekend I guess I’ll get some live insight on what’s going on a mile up there.

I sure wish that flow went on for a bit longer. It even woke up the colonies that already went a bit quiet for winter, now they are all stirred up and ready to go for more. They went bonkers on the pollen too.

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You might enjoy these photos, talking of tall trees and seeing the flowers. This is my daughter touching a giant. This actual tree is one of the tallest flowering plants on earth at nearly 90 metres high, in a valley in Tasmania. The top of Big Ben in London is about 95m. I reckon the bees would nearly run out of energy flying up to get the nectar! They only live around 400 years and the problem they have is getting the fluid and nutrients all the way from the ground up to the top…it is just so far. Eucalyptus regnans.



Hi Dan,
Two beautiful beings touching in that awesome pic. Thanks, I treasure that beauty.
I actually didn’t expect anything flowering up here in the NP before spring, so this flooded gum thing caught me by surprise. Well, I didn’t really observe such things before having bees at all and found even people born here don’t know much about local eucalyptus.
So, if that flush is over already, I learned some more.

My hives down by the beach haven’t yet shown anything spectacular. I had some hopes for them through winter.

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I was told by a fellow bee keeper when I was starting out in the Hawkesbury that the Rose Gums produce nectar only towards day break, I asked him how he knew that and his answer was that the bees stopped working the Rose Gums by lunch time and would forage elsewhere. He was a wealth of information and never doubted his advise.
Down south again, the bees worked the rose gums over winter, in a good stand in area, of Rose Gums. I don’t know how long an individual tree flowered, maybe a few weeks then another would flower, maybe depending on the trees available water resources. With the Spring Wattle the Rose Gum season was over and I would move my hives to the Mudgee area for the Cape Weed and Salvation Jane and into top gear harvesting the flow till it ‘burnt off’ in the heat of Summer.
Now I am on the Sunshine Coast I am learning bee keeping all over again and fortunately came across JeffH who I enjoy very much and his way of bee keeping. Down in the Hawkesbury a single brood would die over winter, it was all double brood, up here the vast majority run a single brood. Towards the end of May and my hives are very busy on Paper Bark and Banksia.

Awesome info Peter. Today was the first day though the nectar income went off after lunch, previously the weight gain was all day.
We will see what the scales say from tomorrow on. If each hive brings in a kg each morning and spends the rest of the day in my salvias and gardens, I’ll be very happy.
There is a stand of flooded gums not far from here, but there is the odd one around, so I reckon they will find them as they go off. I see the bees shoot off in different directions, so not all are heading to one stand of flooded gums.
Interesting though how it woke up even the Carnies.

We had a drop of about 5C day and night since you got hit by the Antarctic front, not it is 17 to 19C night and 23 to 24C day temps, got 50mm of rain last night but generally dry. Some of the gums flower over winter, the Rose Gum is one of them with fairly good pollen and a good nectar producer.
This week we have Wattle suddenly flowering that is normally July - August here.

Funny you say that. Just thought today the wattles look like getting ready. Would be a month early if they do here.
Only one type of wattle in June last year. The bee club in town didn’t believe me till I showed photos. Quite different in the mountains.

Where my hives are at the Men’s Shed the wattle is well and truly flowering, 10 days ago nothing, Banksia are all flowering when till recently there was not even a sign of them flowering, me thinks mother nature is out of sinc. :grinning:

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