State forests provide the major honey resource for the beekeeping industry in NSW.
While Forests NSW has a number of management practices in place to retain nectar-producing trees during logging operations, there has been no information on how much nectar is produced by retained trees or young trees regrowing after logging.
Indeed, beekeepers have expressed concern about the effects of logging on nectar production, especially the perception that young trees do not produce as much nectar as mature trees.
The two eucalypt species chosen for research, Spotted Gum Corymbia maculata and Grey Ironbark Eucalyptus paniculata, are of prime importance to nectarfeeding wildlife, the timber industry and beekeepers.
Using cranes and cherry-pickers, flowers in forest canopies over 30 metres high on the NSW south coast were accessed. Nectar in flowers bagged overnight was measured to determine how much nectar they produce.
Both large and small trees were measured in forest with different logging histories: recently logged, regrowth and mature (more than 50 years since logging).
After measuring thousands of flowers, the study concluded that nectar production in Spotted Gum on a per flower basis was not affected by logging history nor tree size.
When the amount of nectar produced by whole forest stands is estimated on the basis of individual flower measurements and counts of flowers and trees, the study found that mature forest produced almost 10 times as much sugar per hectare as recently logged forest.
However, because current logging practices result in a mosaic landscape, where some areas are logged and others are left untouched, the impact is far less.
An estimate of nectar production at a ‘compartment’ scale found a recently logged compartment produced half the amount of nectar as a compartment of mature forest.
Most importantly, nectar was not a limited resource in 2005, when the research was undertaken, as extensive flowering was recorded across the south coast.
The study surveyed local beekeepers with questionnaires and found that honey yields in 2005 were extremely high: a typical 1000 hectares of spotted gum forest flowering from April-August yielded five tonnes of honey.
Honey productivity was found to be comparable across the three different logging histories: recently logged, regrowth and mature. But not every year is as good as 2005, with flowers measured in 2003 providing a strong contrast.
Few trees were in flower and nectarivores, especially birds and honeybees, left virtually no nectar behind by mid-morning.
Beekeepers reported that hive bees were not producing honey under these conditions.
Results for grey ironbark showed similarities to spotted gum with regard to the impact of logging, but the species differed markedly in other aspects of nectar production.
The results of this study will help promote sustainability by raising the awareness of forestry organisations about the importance of the nectar resource for native fauna and honeybees and that of beekeepers about current forest management.
Contact Brad Law, forest resources scientist, West Pennant Hills, 9872 0162 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Finlay | EurekAlert!
Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
26.04.2017 | University of the Basque Country
New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences