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Native Bees and things

Home Forums FOOD PRODUCTION, HARVEST AND STORAGE BEE Keeping Native Bees and things

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    I went to a small tutorial on native bees last Saturday at

    Bellingen. It was given by William Archer at

    Unfortunately he has a waiting list of 900 so getting a hive is out of the question.

    But I did learn that in the wild they live in old hollow logs but nowadays with all the new developements happening native bees are also in danger. The old beekeepers of Qld used to find several hives every time they looked, now a days they can go months. So sad. 🙁

    It is also not very easy to remove them from the wild as they are quite a delicate bee. They have no disease as bee guards, man the only entrance and kill anything that dares to enter. They travel 500 metres so if you have them in your yard already not worth even trying to set one up.They are a very tiny bee looked like a hoverfly to me.

    When a new queen is ready, workers go out and find a home and block all the holes up. The queen is sent off with many others to start a new home while the old queen carries on business as usual. William the beekeeper cuts the hive in half as usually the new queen is on the bottom of the spiral colony and adds a new bit to both halves. This is done once a year. They honey apparently tastes a bit like toffee. They love basil flowers and pigface if you want to encourage them.

    I have been watching a single normal bee at my nectarine and 2 at the peachcot. Luckily I have fruit but it is sad to think of bees dissapearing. I opened the door and walked into my lounge room about 2 weeks ago and the whole room was full of buzzing bees. Aaaaah!!! :ohmy: :ohmy:

    They had come through the vent and an open window and swarmed into the brick cavity. We rang for advice but unfortunatly nearly impossible to get out so we had to kill them. 3 days later I walked into a bedroom and same thing bees everywhere. Apparantly swarming bees will find an old hive, and we had one in the cavity several years ago.

    Why cant they swarm on to the many trees around us so we can box them. My dad an old builder said that many years ago he added on to a very old church and when they pulled down the plaster it was full of old hives between the struts. It went right around till they hit the front brick area. This church was 100 yrs old,would have been amazing to see. :jawdrop:


    A waiting list of 900!! My goodness



    I hope you some how get access to a native bee hive Kasalia it feels very important to me for the native bee to survive. Are the native bees threatened by the european wasp do you know, or is it just the ‘normal’ bees?

    Bobbs :hug:


    Bobbee, checking out stinglessbees They are not affected by the varroa mite, or any other European honey bee diseases/pests.


    Yay! Native bees! :laugh:

    My favourite is the blue banded bee. Not that I have personally met each of the thousand odd species in Oz in order to develop an informed preference, but I do like the blue banded bee. They are loud erratic flyers so they stand out when they are in the garden, and you can often follow them around and watch for ages.

    It is thought that the introduced honey bee does threaten some native bees, but of course habitat clearance is the biggest issue. I have a book somewhere on ‘native bees of the sydney region’ or something like that, it is a really good little book. Even shows you how to make habitats for many of them (I can’t remember now, drilled holes in wood or something).

    But basically if you want many species of native bees, put back or protect native scrub 🙂

    Or get in line on a 900 long waiting list for a hive he heh


    I was at the property last week and spent far to much time watching the native bees on the banksia trees. It is amazing how much pollen they carry in the little sacks on the back legs. The ones I have are quite small and quite slender. I really want to find where their hive is, it might not even be on my place, but I want to see what they like so I can set up some sites where they would like to live. I am allergic to the European honey bee, so I want to encourage the native bees. Also their honey is amazing, less but beautiful strong flavor.


    We have about a dozen different types of native bee here, most are solitary. They tend to only be active in hot weather.

    We are technically outside the natural range of stingless bees, but I know of one hive of them and the local indigenous people say that the stingless bees used to be here in the past. I assume that they are naturally here but they have a hard time in winter so the numbers are very low.

    Small hive beetle has just come into our area and is devastating the honey bees, does anyone know if it bothers the native bees? I have not seen any native bees since the beetles came here, but I do not know if that is just because it has cooled down since or if they are being killed off by the beetles. I have tried to google this but have not found any answers.


    We have also been thinking about getting a hive of stingless bees. Recently, I came across the following directory (of stingless bee hive “suppliers”) that looks promising: (note: once you reach the homepage of the Australian Native Bee Research Centre, take the “buying stingless bees link” to get to the directory).

    I don’t know what the waiting lists would be – if any – or even if this list is up to date. At any rate, I looked into this topic a few years ago and there were no suppliers at all at that time. So, it would seem that as awareness and demand are increasing, so is supply. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, anyone who wants a hive will be able to get one…


    I think I saw a teddy bear bee this morning

    It was big yellow and hairy first time I have ever seen one.


    Snags, that’s great! I was amazed by the pictures of the blue banded bees. I had no idea that they roost at night: blue banded bee photos. Amazing!


    I found a few in my pile of mushroom compost,so thought they burrowed into the dirt???

    Let me pick them out as they got a bit wet before I realised they were in it.


    I also visited a bee course late last year. I own a nest in a log, and perhaps see a new one once a month or so (I travel the immediate area and work on trees).

    Here is a link to some photos I took at the course, including my log and some on my basil plants. I have locally-occurring bees as well as my own. The local ones start work earlier than my ones (probably temperature differences in their hive locations).



    Hi S.O.P. Thanks for sharing your photos – I didn’t realise how small the nests were. We have a few natural hives around – but, haven’t been able to locate them to date…


    Wonderful links people, thank you, also the pics. :tup:

    We have lots of tiny native bees around here but I have never found a nest. :shrug:

    It feels good to know they are in the area though. :tup:



    You’re welcome for the photos, I have more but they are the pick of the bunch. I would of liked to take a lot more but Baby Boomers (no offence) using iPhone 4’s are all the rage and they need to get really close and in the way to take their photos.

    The spiral brood is Tetragonula carbonaria and the one shaped, for lack of a better word, like a brain, is T. hockingsi.

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