Hill gum, sand gum, ridge gum or tumbledown gum is a very good honey and pollen producing tree (Clemson, p.21) of the Northern Tablelands of NSW and Southern Queensland. The bees collect large to huge volumes of pollen and a good surplus of honey.
The crude protein of hill gum pollen ranges from 21% to 24% with a reasonable amino-acid profile except for iso-leucine. (Table 26)
Hill gum usually flowers in October and November, stimulating the hives to breed rapidly, and if care is not taken the bees will swarm. Hill gum often flowers while jellybush (Leptospermum spp.) is also in flower. Both these floral sources are known to stimulate bees, and at such times huge swarms may occur.
Some beekeepers have reported that the rapid bee-breeding associated with hill gum may often be at the expense of bee quality, and that hill gum bees will collapse if put onto a heavy honey flow. Other beekeepers, on the other hand, are very happy with hill gum bees.
Hill gum pollen is suitable for collecting and feeding back to bees when pollen shortages occur. It would be ideal to use in a mix with soyflour at the ratio by weight of one unit pollen to three units soyflour.
Table 26: Hill gum Eucalyptus dealbata
* Low level of this amino-acid
Hill gum pollen seen under a microscope (X400)
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