Tim Heard

Tim Heard
Sugarbag Bees

PhD

About

127
Publications
83,825
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Introduction
Current interests centre around the stingless bees taxonomic group being involved in many aspects of research from pure studies on their basic biology to applied work on their utilization for economic purposes. He worked as a Research scientist for CSIRO from 1990 to 2014, in the discipline of biological control of weeds.

Publications

Publications (127)
Article
Two stingless bee species, Tetragonula carbonaria and Tetragonula hockingsi , engage in extreme inter-colony fights, both within and between species. Inter species fights can result in one species taking over the nest of the other. Following successful takeovers, brood from the previous colony could be retained and become workers, but this has yet...
Article
Full-text available
Pollinator conservation is aided by knowledge of dispersal behavior, which shapes gene flow and population structure. In many bees, dispersal is thought to be male-biased, and males’ movements may be critical to maintaining gene flow in disturbed and fragmented habitats. Yet male bee movements are challenging to track directly and male dispersal ab...
Article
Parkinsonia aculeata L. (Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae), native to the Americas, is a designated Weed of National Significance in Australia. The leaf‐feeding geometrid moth species, Eueupithecia cisplatensis Prout (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), was identified as a potential biological control agent of P. aculeata following native range surveys in Argenti...
Article
Full-text available
Many animals deposit odours in their environment, either intentionally or unintentionally, that remain at a site after the animal itself has left. These odours may be exploited by other species as social information, and thus have a significant role in structuring species interactions, even where the species involved rarely interact directly. Here...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bees play a key role in maintaining healthy terrestrial ecosystems by pollinating plants. Stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are a diverse clade of social bees (>500 species) with a pantropical distribution spanning South and Central America, Africa, India and Austral-Asia. They are garnering increasing attention as commercially-beneficial pollina...
Article
Bees provide essential ecosystem services such as crop pollination, but perennial colonies of social species require year-round access to floral resources, especially in resource-poor agricultural landscapes. We investigated pollen resources used by a social bee (Tetragonula carbonaria, Meliponini) in forests and orchards of subtropical Australia....
Article
Unlike the situation in other countries such as Brazil or Mexico, beekeeping with stingless bees has only recently become a prominent practice in Australia. The first divisible brood-chamber hive designed for native bees was developed in the late 1980s, which stimulated the social interest and popularity for keeping stingless bees on the east coast...
Preprint
Unlike the situation in other countries such as Brazil or Mexico, beekeeping with stingless bees has only recently become a prominent part of Australian history. The first divisible brood-chamber hive designed for native bees was developed in the late 1980s, which stimulated after a lag period, the social interest and popularity for keeping-stingle...
Article
Full-text available
Bees need food of appropriate nutritional quality to maintain their metabolic functions. They largely obtain all required nutrients from floral resources, i.e., pollen and nectar. However, the diversity, composition and nutritional quality of floral resources varies with the surrounding environment and can be strongly altered in human-impacted habi...
Article
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Bee population declines are often linked to human impacts, especially habitat and biodiversity loss, but empirical evidence is lacking. To clarify the link between biodiversity loss and bee decline, we examined how floral diversity affects (reproductive) fitness and population growth of a social stingless bee. For the first time, we related availab...
Article
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Social insects construct nests that protect their brood and food resources from both the physical environment and natural enemies. Stingless bees use plant‐derived resins, mixed with wax to form propolis, in the construction of their nests, and these products can be effective sources of defense against natural enemies, including ants. However, it i...
Article
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Across the world, the keeping of stingless bees is increasingly popular, providing commercial pollination, high-value honey and a rewarding pass time. The popularity of stingless beekeeping has resulted in large-scale anthropogenic movements of nests, sometimes from outside their native range. Colony movement has the potential to impact local popul...
Article
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Numerous studies revealed a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, suggesting that biodiverse environments may not only enhance ecosystem processes, but also benefit individual ecosystem members by, for example, providing a higher diversity of resources. Whether and how the number of available resources affects resour...
Article
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To date, no study has investigated how landscape structural (visual) alterations affect navigation and thus homing success in stingless bees. We addressed this question in the Australian stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria by performing marking, release and re-capture experiments in landscapes differing in habitat homogeneity (i.e., the proportion...
Article
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A new species is described from Argentina: Eueupithecia vollonoides sp. n. and a differential diagnosis from E. cisplatensis Prout, 1910 is given. The genus Eueupithecia Prout, 1910 (Sterrhinae), so far having been retained to be monotypic, includes two species now.
Article
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Increasing human land use for agriculture and housing leads to the loss of natural habitat and to widespread declines in wild bees. Bee foraging dynamics and fitness depend on the availability of resources in the surrounding landscape, but how precisely landscape related resource differences affect bee foraging patterns remains unclear. To investig...
Data
Table S1. Location of study sites and geographic information. Data S1. Influence of daytime. Table S2. Spearman correlation matrix with correlation coefficients (rS) for forager numbers and weather variables. Table S3. Results of generalized linear mixed effect models (GLMMs) for each response variable, for the second year with all weather facto...
Article
Full-text available
Bees are key pollinators in both natural and agricultural environments throughout the world. Estimates of the typical distance from their nest that bees will fly to forage are useful when planning their deployment in commercial pollination or ecosystem management. Stingless bees (Meliponini) are social bees that live in colonies comprising a queen...
Book
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Keeping native stingless bees is a hot topic in Australia for commercial, environmental and recreational reasons. You can do something about the decline of pollinators by conserving native bees. Inside you’ll find the complete guide to native stingless bees, written by an expert who has spent his lifetime intimately engaged with these unique creat...
Chapter
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Chapter
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78. Heard, T.A. and Hogendoorn K. (2016) Chapter 2: Bees as pollinators, in
Chapter
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Conference Paper
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Increasing human land use for farming and housing led to the loss of natural habitat and to widespread declines in wild bees, which in turn puts pollination services at risk. The quantity and quality of plant resources available in a landscape drive bee foraging dynamics and hence fitness of bee colonies. Yet how bee foraging patterns and colony pe...
Article
RationaleTetragonula carbonaria pot-honeys are highly valued as a food source and for their biological activities in Australia, and there is a growing interest to know its composition. Phenolic metabolites, which could be related to their beneficial properties, have not been studied in depth yet.Methods Mass spectrometry (MS) coupled to liquid chro...
Article
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Abstract We provide the first evidence for interspecific warfare in bees, a spectacular natural phenomenon that involves a series of aerial battles and leads to thousands of fatalities from both attacking and defending colonies. Molecular analysis of fights at a hive of the Australian stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria revealed that the attack wa...
Article
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Australian stingless bee honeys have shown to exert antioxidant and in vitro antimicrobial properties; however their bioactive factors remained unidentified. This study investigated the antibacterial properties of phenolic extracts from Tetragonula carbonaria honeys. Honeys were harvested from beehives in three sites of South East Australia. Liquid...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Parkinsonia aculeata L. (Fabaceae; Parkinsonia hereafter) is a Neotropical iteroparous woody shrub/tree that has invaded an extraordinarily broad geographic range across northern Australia; its current distribution extends over an area of some 8000 km2 and spans arid to tropical climates. Based on a synthesis of detailed life-history data gathered...
Conference Paper
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Global declines in wild and native bees have raised concerns about reliable pollination services to crop plants. The bees in turn depend on the availability and diversity of their key resources (pollen, nectar, resin) provided by various plants. Yet how plant composition and resource diversity on the landscape level affect the foraging behaviour an...
Article
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Stingless bees accumulate deposits of plant resins that are mixed with beeswax to produce propolis. Previous studies have reported anti-microbial constituents of stingless bee (Tetragonula carbonaria) propolis from East Australia, but several components remained to be characterized. In the search of natural products yet unreported for Australian pr...
Article
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Quantifying survey completeness is a key step in designing and interpreting biodiversity assessments. To date this has only been examined either at a local scale through repetitive sampling, or across broader geographic areas through multiple survey sites. In this paper, we determine the completeness of sampling at both local and continental scales...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Global declines of pollinators raise concerns about the stability of pollination services to wild and crop plants. Bees are highly important pollinators and strongly depend on (flowering) plants that provide their key resources (pollen, nectar, resin). How variations in landscape related resource diversity affect the foraging behaviour and colony f...
Article
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Tetragonula carbonaria and Austroplebeia australis are two species of eusocial stingless bees with phylogeographically different origins that can occur sympatrically on the Australian east coast. We studied their foraging activity and resource intake and found pronounced differences between species. Tetragonula carbonaria showed consistently higher...
Article
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There is increasing interest in the management of stingless bees for crop pollination, honey production and recreational beekeeping. Colony propagation is based on the division of one colony into two smaller colonies. The process generates a queenless colony and requires that the new colony is successful in the production of a new queen. Three diff...
Article
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Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae) is one of the world's worst invasive species, responsible for damaging aquatic systems in many warmer parts of the globe including north America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The planthopper Megamelus scutellaris Berg (Delphacidae) has been released in USA and approved for release in South Africa...
Article
Aim Broad-scale patterns in the distribution of phytophagous arthropods have been explained by species turnover due to host plant, environment, geographi- cal distance and historical biogeography. In this study, variability due to plant species turnover was eliminated by focusing on the arthropods utilizing a single widely distributed plant species...
Article
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In 2010, an online survey was conducted to assess the current status of the Australian stingless bee industry and its recent development. This was a follow-up survey conducted approximately one decade after the first study, by Heard and Dollin in 1998/99. It showed that the Australian industry had grown over the past ten or so years but is still un...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent declines in wild and managed bees have raised global concerns about loss of pollination services. There is much evidence that diverse landscapes support a greater diversity of different pollinators than low diversity landscapes, but they also provide single species with a higher diversity of resources to exploit. However, little is known abo...
Poster
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Worldwide, wild and managed Apis bees as the main pollinators of many plants are at a serious decline. Habitat loss is thought to play a major role in this decline, with diverse landscapes (comprising a variety of resources) most likely providing bees with a nutritional advantage over intensively farmed monocultures. However, little is known about...
Article
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Tetragonula hockingsi and T. carbonaria are two closely related species of Australian stingless bees. The primary species-specific character is the architecture of the brood comb. The brood comb of T. hockingsi is an open lattice comprising clumps of about ten cells that are connected by vertical pillars. In contrast, in T. carbonaria the brood com...
Article
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Mimosa pigra L. is a serious weed of wetlands of Australia, Asia and Africa. A suite of established biocontrol agents have been introduced in Australia and some Asian countries, but better control is needed. Nesaecrepida infuscata (Schaeffer) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is a common insect on M. pigra in tropical America. The larvae develop on the r...
Article
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Neolasioptera aculeatae Gagné (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is described as a new species from stem swellings on Parkinsonia aculeata L. (Leguminosae) in NW Argentina. The new species appears to be a good candidate for the biological control of its host in Australia, where the plant was accidentally introduced and is currently a serious pest. The specie...
Article
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As part of efforts to identify native herbivores of Mexican palo verde, Parkinsonia aculeata L. (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae), as potential biological control agents against this invasive weed in Australia, ten species of Tortricidae (Lepidoptera) were reared from Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela: Amorbia concavana (Zeller), Platynota...
Article
Life history parameters of the sap-feeding bug Ischnodemus variegatus (Signoret) (Hemiptera: Blissidae) were compared between the invasive Neotropical grass, Hymenachne amplexicaulis (Rudge) Nees and the Australian native Hymenachne acutigluma (Steudel) Guilliland. Development of immatures, adult longevity, ovipositional preference and population g...
Article
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The interaction between flowers and insect pollinators is an important aspect of the reproductive mechanisms of many plant species. Several laboratory and field studies indicate that raising flower temperature above ambient can be an advantage in attracting pollinators. Here we demonstrate that this preference for warmer flowers is, in fact, contex...
Article
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Considerable progress has been made towards the successful classical biological control of many of Australia’s exotic weeds over the past decade. Some 43 new arthropod or pathogen agents were released in 19 projects. Effective biological control was achieved in several projects with the outstanding successes being the control of rubber vine, Crypto...
Article
The aim of this study was to determine the spectrum of antimicrobial activity of 11 samples of stingless bee honey compared to medicinal, table and artificial honeys. Activity was assessed by agar diffusion, agar dilution, broth microdilution and time-kill viability assays. By agar dilution, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranges were 4% to...
Article
Bellyache bush, Jatropha gossypiifolia L., is a serious weed of northern Australia. Agonosoma trilineatum (F.) is an insect from tropical America released in Australia in 2003 as a biological control agent against bellyache bush. It feeds on seeds and has the potential to reduce seed production, thereby potentially reducing the rate of spread and r...
Article
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Introduction: Mimosa pigra L., a prickly, perennial, woody shrub native to tropical America from Mexico to Argentina, is listed in the Global Invasive Species Database as one of the One Hundred of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species. We refer to M. pigra in the strict sense, which excludes M. asperata, a close relative which some authors have...
Article
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The Australian stingless bee Trigona carbonaria sometimes displays a striking collective behaviour, known as a ‘fighting swarm’ in which thousands of workers fight and die. Molecular analysis of eight naturally-occurring fights showed they almost always comprise just two colonies, one of which is located within 2 m of the fight. Fighting swarms wer...
Article
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Stingless bees (Tribe Meliponini) are a diverse group of highly eusocial bees distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics. Trigona carbonaria honey, from Australia, was characterized by traditional physicochemical parameters (acidity, sugars, diastase, electrical conductivity, hydroxymethylfurfural, invertase, nitrogen, and water content) and