Keeping Stingless Native Bees

An interesting article regarding keeping stingless native bees on one’s property.

We have 2 hives inside the masonary block wall that supports the deck for our pool and we always avoid them when spraying or pressure cleaning the blocks to remove mold and moss.

Recently we had an extension added to a masonary block wall at the front of our yard and when the tradie rolled one existing block over, there was a hive full of honey which he collected for us.

My wife really likes it and has she has it stored in the fridge.


This is great! I love the idea.
Our native bees need a lot more attention. We installed a couple ‘bee hotels’ in our property as we noticed them coming around our new garden. The bees love it and our garden has flourished as a result.


Yes, they are really tiny though which makes them great for pollinating many natives. Much more efficient than European bees. Although they only produce small quantities of honey, which makes it important not to rob too much heading into the leaner or winter periods to ensure the hive remains healthy.


From my university days, this is because native plants have evolved with native bees. The plants through evolution have modified their flowers to cater for these bees rather than the European variety.

Native bees can happily live in urban areas, and as they are very docile (stingless), are often not identified by locals…thinking they are some kind of black insects. This confusion is exacerbated because many native species are not social (living in colonies or hives).


I have been looking at these for a while now as we have quite a few visiting our garden. I looked into native bee hotels, but buying one is out of our price range.


Build one?


There are many varieties of Australian native bees. Some are ‘social’ and live in hives.
The hive box linked by @Drop_Bear is for this type of bee. Usually noted as stingless and typically less than 5-6mm long.
(Some however may bite if very annoyed.)

Many are ‘solitary’ and work and live alone.
They vary in size from a few millimetres up to nearly as large as a European honey bee.

‘bee hotels’ are intended to attract the solitary bees, and it is indeed cheaper to make your own. Some Members in our landcare groups take sections of native timber logs (any bulky untreated timber off cut might do, but not camphor laurel etc). Simply cut into short lengths and drill a variety of holes into the ends to create attractive homes. Those bees around our home love our large old style door locks (I’ve needed to fit brass pivoted covers) and any narrow crevice in the protected timber walls under the verandah roof.

Or consider,

One of the most recognisable and useful native bees, the blue banded bees nest in the ground!


Whilst we have no Italian Honey Bees in our area for reasons unknown, we do have various other native bees as well as the tiny stingless ones.

I have seen the blue banded bees on several occassions around here and wondered what they were, but the name is obviously a no-brainer.


We have lots of the Blue Banded Bees visiting our house and they really like the Basil flowers in particular.


Thank you @Drop_Bear. That may be possible.

The link is most informative.


Thank you @mark_m.

We have native bees including the blue banded bees frequenting our garden. One of which I photographed yesterday.

I happened to see that Gardening Australia program where Sophie filled the TV box.


Kuringai Council on Sydney’s North Shore installs native bee colonies for free in suitable home locations in the municipality. They are shipped in their boxes from Queensland. Once the hive is established in a few years they ‘split’ the hive, with the ‘new’ other half going to another home. The bees are tiny and you need to get up really ‘close and personal’ to see the honey sacs on the rear legs. They are GORGEOUS, very industrious and do not sting!!! They need a water source somewhere on the property for a drink. They do not produce enough honey for collection, only to sustain the colony.