Tumbledown 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 tumbledown gum may often be at the expense of bee quality, and that tumbledown gum bees will collapse if put onto a heavy honey flow. Other beekeepers, on the other hand, are very happy with tumbledown gum bees.
Tumbledown 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.
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Warialda sandstone supports various combinations of tree species but the tumbledown gum (A. costata), a smooth-barked Apple tree, consistently occurs on the more fragile soils associated with that geological formation. The Tumbledown gum is well adapted for survival on the siliceous sands and plays an important role in stabilising these soils.
The Tumbledown gum is a very good honey and pollen producing tree of the Northern Tablelands of NSW and Southern Queensland. The bees collect large to huge volumes of pollen and a good surplus of honey.
Tumbledown gum usually flowers in October and November, stimulating the hives to breed rapidly, and if care is not taken the bees will swarm.