Gauteng Smallholder October 2015 - Page 14

BEE FORAGE Alien eucalypts are useful bee forage I f you grew up in Gauteng you will probably have early childhood of gum trees, with their distinctive smell. The gum tree or Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees and shrubs belonging to the myrtle family. There are no indigenous eucalypts in South Africa, but about 85 different species were introduced from Australia along with the development of the mining industry. Because they flower at various times of the year, they provide a constant and reliable flow of nectar and a source of pollen, making them most important in the survival of bees and the beekeeping industry. According to the year-old Alien & Invasive Species Regulations, six gum species have been listed as invaders. However, under certain circumstances they do not need to be removed. If the gums are within cultivated land and are at least 50m away f