Hi I'm Michang from Indonesia :)

My name is Michael Chang,
Current Undergraduate Student
From Agribusiness Study Program
I’m very new to beekeeping
Nice to meet you all :wink:

Hi Michang, I’m Jeff in Australia, great to meet you. I’ve been a part time beekeeper for about 27 years. Anything that can possibly go wrong with bees has happened to me except varroa. We don’t have that in Australia yet. Good luck with your beekeeping, cheers:)

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Hi Jeff, great to meet you too :smile:
Wow that’s great! I really hope lessons from the experience beekeeper like you.
Yes! Varroa is a serious problem here, that is why most people here are using apis cerana (local bee) than apis mellifera (Import from Australia).
I want to start beekeeper in my home by using apis mellifera, it make me easier to conduct a research here.
I lived in urban area, but also have some land in countryside, either near large flower garden or near forest.
Based on your opinion, which one of that location is generally good for me?

Hi Michael,
Your research might best start with building up an education on the local flora in your region. Both sites can be ideal, urban environments can be highly productive for honey whilst rural areas benefit well for pollination depending on what crops are grown there, Another major difference is that bees typically can feed on city gardens all year round, but in rural areas where there are large tracts of monocultures (fields of 1 crop) bees can struggle to survive after the crop has finished flowering. There is also a greater risk of fungicides & pesticides in rural areas.


Hi @Rodderick,
Thank you for your fast respond and clear explanation to me, especially by giving a general overview of both sites, it’s very useful information for me :smile:

One thing that I concern of urban beekeeper, is there any side effect to bees (from transportation, noise, etc.)?

Thank you Michang, I find urban area is great, you get honey all year round whereas countryside can be hit & miss. Most of my bees are in an urban area with lots of Eucalypt trees in the area as well. I’m looking after some bees on a lychee/passion fruit orchard with lots more Eucalypt trees as well. I get honey all year round. However it slows down during winter. You should be similar or even better, do you get much of a winter where you are? Is there many native beehives in your area? I think they do a lot with native bees in Malaysia. I’ll ttyl, bye

Hi @JeffH,
Hmnnn thank you for sharing your beekeeping experience to me :slight_smile:

Thanks to God, there are only two seasons in Indonesia (because its tropical area), moreover I almost never seen any native bee here (apis cerana). Sometimes I spotted wasp here, maybe they kill any native bee in sight.

Here, I found trigona sp (sting less bee) hives approx 6km from my home, also meet trigona sp beekeeper there, is that a problem for my apis mellifera?

Many bee species coexist side by side - generally they share forage or specialise in specific flora - local bees will be more adapted to native plants, Apis Mellifera and similar varieties tend to know more of the imported forage/crops so quite often there is plenty of forage for these bees. Both bees and the forage they pollinate are not native.

There was a study done in Trinidad https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00890599/document where they showed that the native stingless bees gathered Pollen in the morning and Nectar in the afternoon. Whereas the Apis Mellifera gathered Pollen and Nectar throughout the day.

This is about the Australian Stingless Bees http://www.aussiebee.com.au/tetragonula-name-change.html which are the same Genus as in New Guinea, Indonesia, The Philippines, The Solomon Islands, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India,

Largest bee in the world was found in Indonesian/Malay Jungles http://www.aussiebee.com.au/abol-004.html

“Trigona spp
bees as Indonesian native bee is not popular. However, forest communities have been familiar with these bees. Previously, the bees are less preferred because they produce little honey and has sticky hives and dirty (Centre National beekeeping, 1991).”

“Amegilla cingulata - A. cingulata is native to Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia and India. It appears to live in tropical and subtropical regions. The bees inhabit urban areas, woodlands, forests and heath areas.
A. cingulata in Australia collects the majority of its nectar from blue flowers, although others investigated include mountain devil (Lambertia formosa), grey spider flower (Grevillea buxifolia) as well as the introduced Abelia grandiflora and lavender (Lavandula species).[2] They also feed on some non-blue flowers such as the white form of Salvia coccinea, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and eggplant (Solanum melongena) flowers, white flowers of Leea indica and some members of the Verbenaceae family. The bees use a process that involves clinging onto flowers and vibrating powerfully, which increases the release of pollen. They only have a limited foraging range of roughly 300 m from their nest, and females make at least nine foraging flights per day” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amegilla_cingulata

Sorry I’m a nerd when it come to study - I have time on my hands as I don’t have to go back to work (live in) until September. Just 4-5hrs a week

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If you want to keep native and stingless bees in Indonesia try Hot Pepper crops - http://www.hindawi.com/journals/psyche/2014/687979/

"4. Conclusion

Both species have several advantages and disadvantages when applied on common Indonesia farming.

Asiatic honey bees have higher pollination efficiency, commonly domesticated by local bee farmers, and have wider foraging area which made them suitable candidate as pollinator agent of hot pepper. However, their aggressive and absconding behavior with high nectar and pollen requirement reduce their value as pollinator agent of small hot pepper plantation farm located nearby human residence and/or plantation with unsustain nectar and pollen resources.

On the other hand, stingless bees more likely to be apply as pollinator agent at plantation located nearby human residence without sustain nectar and pollen resources [31, 32]; small foraging area may provide high visitation rate at small and confined agriculture [30, 33]; their lack of functional sting and less aggressive behavior made them highly suitable for pollination of crops cultivated nearby human dwelling [34, 35]. Furthermore, these bees foraging on varied plants [36–38] made them applicable as pollinator for varied types of local crops, even though further studies are needed for possible mismatch (see [35]). However, great concern should be addressed on application of insecticide, a common procedure on Indonesia agriculture system, as stingless bee is highly sensitive to common pesticide applied on local farm (Putra, unpublished data)."

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Hi Michang, your most welcome. No, not at all, they are no problem, I have a few Trigona hives myself. I got a couple of hives out of a tree last week. I put them in 3 boxes, I only had one before, now I have 4!!! They live side by side with the apis mellifera bees real good. I think from memory it’s in Malaysia that they keep the trigona bees in a big way to produce honey from them.


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
Wow! Thank you very much for sharing much valuable information to me, especially by showing a lot of sources you use. Any advice/ information is more than welcomed and very much appreciated. This information was very important for my research project, moreover for my academic essay. Therefore, I have difficulties to find any native language beekeeping book here. So the only reliable sources I have right now, mostly eBook that I kept in my laptop, most of them is English (which is good, I can understand :slight_smile: ) and the information from this forum.

Once again, thank you very much @Valli :smile:


post:10, topic:2679”]

I put them in 3 boxes, I only had one before, now I have
4!!! They live side by side with the apis mellifera bees real good.


Great!!! Don’t forget to share your upcoming experience to us :smile:

No worries Michang, only about a week later they’re doing great. I got 2 boxes out of one hive, one box is in my front yard & the other is around the back. Looking at the one around the back, it’s so strong, you wouldn’t think it was part of a split. These hives only produce about a kilo of honey a year, maximum. However they’re great bees to have in the yard, being sting-less, great for kids. I have observation windows under the lids, which is good until the bees cover them with propalis/wax. If you find a video on youtube with the title “two native beehives rescued” chances are, it could be mine. Anyway I’ll talk to ya later mate, take care, bye

Ah yes, I found your video on youtube, also your channel, what a great video collections!
I like your idea by using observation windows.
Watching your videos now, good luck with you beekeeping activities :wink:

Wow, thank you Michang, I hope you can understand what I’m saying, feel free to ask any questions, take care, bye for now:)

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Hi guys!
I’m so happy to show something about my little apiary:

This is the honey, from 2 different locations :smile:
I have already harvested more than 15 tall bottle (650ml), plan to make smaller bottles just like that:

This is me with the bees

Another frame

This is the bees, with the queen

Right now I have 15 colonies, more than half are new full strength colony (from nuc), and the rest are just new nucs colony (the honey bee made queen cell, so I divide the colony if the population is big enough).
Sometimes I begin to think, is that possible & needed to combine 2 new nuc colony into one colony, so the new young queen will have larger populations

What do you guys think about it? @Valli @JeffH @Rodderick


Hi Michael, thank you, they are great photos. Whether to combine or not to combine is up to you depending on the time of season & also how many colonies you are looking to buildup to. If you feel the size of the colony can support the queen, your looking to expend your hive numbers & your not coming into winter, Id leave them separated. If you would like to expand your hive numbers & you think the colony can support it, the addition of a frame of brood, especially with lots of hatching bees is always a good thing for a weak colony. You can keep on doing that till you finish up with a strong colony…

PS that’s a great shot of the queen, I never mark mine either:)


Your so Lucky! You have wonderful weather in the Tropics most of the year around - Looks like your bees do well

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Hi Michael, only divide your colonies if you have a lot of bees to support the split. The second photo shows your frame with a good covering of bees with some capped brood underneath, if your hive is full of frames like this, then you may be safely able to split. The last photo has me a little worried, the comb is dark which shows that it was a brood frame but I do not see much capped brood. Are there any eggs or larva in the cells? Or is this a new frame that was only recently inserted into the hive as there is no evidence of pollen and only a small amount of capped honey. Is your queen new or old? or was she from a swarm?

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The Queens tail is just coming out of a cell - frame being laid up? There is some brood - not much a bit further up, Could have all recently emerged?