Do Native Stingless Bees make Honey?
Yes, native stingless bees make a small amount of honey (typically less than 1kg/year). 'Sugarbag' honey, as it is commonly known, is runnier than regular honey and can taste fruity, lemony, and have hints of eucalyptus. This honey is quite rare and expensive to produce, so it often carries a high cost. There is some research about the possible medicinal benefits of Sugarbag.
How Many Bees are there in a native beehive?
A stingless beehive will typically have between around 10,000 bees. This includes one queen, thousands of worker bees (females), a few hundred drones (male bees), and a few princesses (queens that have not mated).
Do Stingless Bees swarm?
Yes, Australian native bees do swarm, however not in the same sense as honey bees. When honey bees swarm, it is their way of reproducing, and making a hive elsewhere. When native bees swarm, it can be for a couple of different reasons, such as mating, or possibly an invasion from a nearby hive. Find out more here.
How can I attract native bees into my garden?
The easiest way is to plant flowers that are attractive to them, such as these. Another fantastic method is to build a 'bee hotel', which is a structure that provides nesting habitat for solitary bees.
How can I get Native Bees into my empty box?
It is quite difficult and very uncommon to encourage a native beehive to move into an empty, man made box. Typically, you will have to purchase a hive with bees in it already. Alternatively, you could 'duplicate' an existing hive into your empty box, through the processes of either splitting or eduction. However, it is recommended that you have some level of experience for either of these processes.
I have a native beehive in my garden, Do I need to plant Flowers?
Stingless bees can travel up to 500m in search of flowers. This means that in most circumstances, the surrounding gardens and parks will have plenty of foraging resources for your bees, and so you do not need to plant flowers specifically for them. However, if you would simply like to see the bees foraging in your own garden (which is always exciting), it would definitely be recommended to plant some flowers such as these.
Do native bees need water?
No, for the most part stingless bees get all of the water that they need from the nectar of flowers. You do not need to put out a water source specifically for them like you would for honey bees.
How long do native bees live?
Native stingless worker bees typically live for 100 days. A stingless bee queen may live for 5-10 years, however there is not much research in this area at the moment.
Hi! I'm Isaac, a 17 year old passionate about all of Australia's native bees, particularly our stingless bees (Bush Bees). My interest in them began when my school bought a native beehive, in early 2016.
Information on this site is general advice provided for educational purposes only.