Popular Stingless Bee FAQs
I’ve made or bought an empty box, where can I get bees from?
Native Stingless Bees will always come in a box or log of their own. You can’t make or buy an empty box and then buy bees by themselves later. Empty boxes sold by box makers are intended for people that already have boxes full of bees and want to multiply their colonies by splitting, budding or transferring colonies. There can be confusion with people buying empty boxes and looking for bees later, often asking on social media and then being disappointed by the answers.
Where can i buy a hive full of live bees?
Here’s a helpful website with a big list of sellers – aussiebee.com.au
f you’re buying a hive with bees make sure you get a 12 month Guarantee or a Warranty that the hive will survive. When buying from an unknown seller from Facebook or Gumtree, they might be cheap but the risk could be higher if the seller is inexperienced. Sometimes hives can look healthy but can slowly die out over many months. Prices can range from $350 to $700 depending on the strength of the colony, quality of the box and level of support you receive
What is the best style of hive box to get for my Stingless Bees?
You may want to get a box that is similar to the one you already have for looks and fitment purposes.
If you’re prepared to transfer the bees in to the new box or try Budding you could get something unique in design.
Stingless Bees aren’t fussy about what they’re home looks like, as long as the volume is big enough to support their colony and provides a safe environment for them providing protection against pests, weather and extreme temperatures.
More information on this here: https://www.nativebeehives.com/what-kind-of-box-should-i-get/
When can I split my hive?
You should only split your hive if it has a very strong population and usually only once a year. Popular information suggests once a year starting from September to March. Locations with less extreme temperatures have been known to be able to split at any time of the year.
Do I need to split my hive?
No, if you’re happy with not splitting it then that’s fine, there’s no need to split a hive. If a hive has a very strong population it may naturally split itself. They won’t leave your current hive box, they will just create a new colony close by
Hive Rescue / Transfer?
It’s usually best to leave any wild hive where it is. Sometimes that may not be possible as the tree might be rotting away or the hive may be in a place where it could be sprayed by pest control or in a water meter box. The hive could be transferred in to a hive box to remove it from the area. If the colony is located in places like a brick wall or under a concrete slab then you wont be able to remove it without destroying the structure.
Popular species of Stingless Bees
- Tetragonula carbonaria – Sometimes referred to as “Tc”
- Tetragonula hockingsi – “Th”
- Austroplebeia australis – “Aa”
Pests that can destroy hives:
- Hive Syrphid Fly – Ceriana ornata
- Hive Phorid Fly – Dohrniphora trigonae
- Small Hive Beetle – Aethina tumida
What are they talking about?
Here’s some weird words you may hear in the Native Bee World…
- Sugar Bag – Native Bee Honey
- Propolis – Mixture of Native Bee wax and plant resin
- Cerumen – Mixture of Native Bee wax and plant resin
- Involucrum – An enveloping membrane that protects the brood
- OATH – Original Australian Trigona Hive
- Honey Super – Part of the box that is intended for honey storage
- Brood Supports – Parts of the hive box that stop the brood from dropping downward
- Brood Excluder – usually a panel that stops the brood from being built to the next frame
- Honey Super Separator Plate – same as Brood Excluder
- Budding or Soft Split – Connecting a new box to an existing hive for duplication
Aussie Bee – http://www.aussiebee.com.au/
Heaps of info about all kinds of native bees. Has a sellers list for where to buy Native Stingless Bees
Australian Bee Book by Tim Heard – available on his website: http://sugarbag.net
Australian Native Bee Field Guide – Department of Primary Industries NSW https://www.tocal.nsw.edu.au/publications