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 email@example.com
Joanne Finlay | EurekAlert!
Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München
The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
11.12.2017 | Information Technology