The effectiveness of a commercial bee attractant, synthetic honey bee queen mandibular pheromone (Fruit Boost®) for enhancing pollination of Gossypium hirsutum was evaluated in a transgenic (Bt) cotton crop. The study assessed the number of bee visitations to blossoms of plants treated with Fruit Boost® as well, as effects on fruit set, yield, and lint quality. Bee activity on plots sprayed with pheromone concentrations of 50 and 500 queen equivalents (QEQ) /ha did not differ significantly from water-only control, on the day of application or the subsequent day. Application of the pheromone did not increase fruit set, yield, or lint quality. Two consecutive pheromone applications, applied two days apart, were not significantly different from a single application for any parameter.
Australia does not have varroa mite. However, we investigated the efficacy of modified hive bottom boards used for varroa mite management in honeybee colonies to control small hive beetle, Aethina tumida. We assessed infestation levels between hives fitted with tube, mesh and conventional (solid) bottom boards in Richmond, NSW eastern Australian. Colonies housed in hives with tube bottom boards were significantly superior to those in hives with conventional and mesh bottom boards. Even though in-hive beetle populations were generally low during the trial period, hives fitted with tube bottom boards however, had fewer small hive beetles than other hives. Although the trial was conducted over only one season, it suggests that there may be benefit in Australian beekeepers changing from using conventional bottom boards even with the absence of varroa mite, when small hive beetle is present.
Australia does not have varroa mite. However, we investigated whether modified hive bottom boards used for varroa mite management in honey bee colonies had other benefits, for honey production. We compared a number of colony parameters between hives fitted with tube, mesh and conventional (solid) bottom boards in two locations in eastern Australian, Richmond NSW and Castlemaine Victoria. Colonies housed in hives with mesh and tube bottom boards were not significantly superior to those in hives with conventional bottom boards with regard to bee flight activity, nor did they produce more honey, brood or stored pollen, in either experimental site. Although the trial was conducted over only one season, it is suggested that there may be no benefit in Australian bee keepers changing from using conventional bottom boards in the absence of varroamite.