Native Bee Info

Australian Native Bee Supplies

Bee & Box Info

Native Solitary Bees

  • There’s approximately 1650 described species in Australia. Most of those are solitary bees and then most of those are ground nesting. 
  • You can’t buy solitary bees but you can naturally attract them to your property by providing habitat.
  • Hotels like drilled blocks of wood and bamboo provide great homes for solitary bees like resin bees and leaf cutter bees.
  • Solitary bees like Blue Banded and Teddy Bear Bees are ground nesting and wont use Bee Hotels.

Native Stingless Bees - Social Bees

Out of the 1650 species of native bees in Australia there’s only 11 described species of “social stingless bees”. 

I keep three species of “social stingless bees” – Tetragonula carbonaria, Tetragonula hockingsi and Austroplebeia australis which can be kept in many areas in Queensland eg.  North Brisbane, Everton Hills, Caboolture, Moreton Bay, Capalaba, Redland Bay, Virginia, Boondall, Redcliffe, Sandgate, Mt Gravatt. I recommend T. carbonaria for the Gold Coast and south to Sydney. T.hockingsi are better suited from Brisbane and north. 

Stingless Bee Box FAQs

  • Empty boxes are intended for people that already have colonies and want to split, educt or transfer. 
  • Avoid buying empty boxes and then trying to attract bees to it. It’s very unlikely that will happen. 
  • Native Stingless Bees always come in a box when you purchase the colony of bees.
  • If you already have an empty box you can still use it to split the hive when you get one in the future. 
  • If you already have an empty box and no bees, you may be able to find someone to transfer a colony in to the box for you.
  • All boxes need a good roof to keep off the rain and provide some shade. Timber is a natural product that degrades over time if exposed to full weather conditions. 
  • The standard boxes use 33mm or 25mm hoop pine and specialty boxes are mostly cypress.
  • The standard boxes are painted pale yellow. They can be supplied painted white or light tan for the same price. There may be a week delay. 

Tips for looking after your bees

  • Check and record the hive weight when you first receive the hive. Monitor the weight over time, even every three to six months. In Winter the weight may decrease as the bees use up honey inside the hive but generally we’re looking for an increase in weight over time as the colony builds.
  • Keep an eye on bee activity. Seeing one bee per minute exit or enter the hive is very low and sixty bees per minute is awesome. Low activity can be a sign of low bee numbers or a weak hive. In Winter there may be low or no activity as it might be too cold to fly.
  • Place in a good position in the yard. Morning sun in Summer is good but avoid full sun in the hottest part of the day in Summer. Full sun all day in Winter is ok. Full shade in Winter can lead to bees not warming up and not being able to get out and collect resources.
  • Always provide a good roof to keep the summer sun and rain off the box. Avoid letting rain run down the sides of the box as water can enter the box and cause issues for the colony with mould. 
  • Work on increasing resources for the bees – flowers for pollen and nectar.
  • Learn about two main pests that pose a threat to your native bee colony – Syrphid Fly and Phorid Fly
  • Plant guides: https://www.wheenbeefoundation.org.au/our-work/projects/powerful-pollinators/

Hivecraft Guarantee for live colonies

  • 12 month guarantee. Return box to Hivecraft for replacement.
  • Guarantee covers normal circumstances – failure to requeen, weakening of colony and dieing out.
  • Not covered if box has been opened, split, educted or budded, flooded with water, overheated in 40 degree heat, placed out of the species natural region, poisoned, painted, oiled.

Important for new colony owners

  • Roof: All hive boxes need a good roof to protect against the sun and rain.
  • Position: Stingless bees will die if they get too hot in summer so make sure they get plenty of shade, and they can decline and die out if they get long periods of cold so make sure they get plenty of sun in winter.