Bees of North Queensland


Recently I went north to have a look at the stingless bees that live in northern Queensland. I found a few that we do not have down south and saw differences with the ones we do. I also got the chance to interview Lewis Roberts, a local naturalist.

Check out this video of the adventure.


Bees of north Queensland

One thing I noticed about the bees that make their home in north Queensland is that they are all really good at defending their colonies. This is mainly due to the green tree ant. These ants are quite the alpha insect in north Queensland. I even saw some kill a small lizard.

Green tree ants

Green tree ants on a rock outside a native bee hive


I have to say of all the bees I saw up north Tetragonula clypearis were my favorite. There was something nice about such a tiny hard working bee that had me mesmerized. I hope to see them again one day.

Tetragonula clypearis

Tetragonula clypearis


Some of the bees we do not see down this way are as follows. You can view a picture of their nest structure and read about each one by clicking the prospective links.

Tetragonula Clypearis

Read about Clypearis Click Here

Tetragonula clypearis



Tetragonula Sapiens

Read about Sapiens Click here

Tetragonula sapiens



Austroplebeia Symei

Read about Symei Click Here

Austroplebeia symei



Austroplebeia Cincta

Read about Cincta Click Here

Austroplebeia Cincta



  1. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for the great shots of these tropical bees(looked like some of your boxes are being used), as Hocks have successfully moved down past Brisbane ,do you think some of the more tropical bees could survive in Brisbane as well. David

    • Hi there David. Your correct about boxes. I talked to Lewis a year or so ago and told him I would like to document some of the bees up his way and could he rescue some so when I came to visit I could photograph them. He has no power there so I made some boxes for him and sent them up.

      I think some of the northern species would do ok down this way but not thrive. Harold hockings brought hockingsi down a long time ago and they do very well right down to the border of NSW. I guess the thing that these northern bees need is the trees local to the area in which they live. Russel Zable tried some tropical species a few times but frosts eventually got the better of them. :(. Hope this helps

      Kind regards


  2. Hi… i am a part time bee keeper and still want to learn more how to get along with these beautiful and nice creatures… so if by any chance that i get a course on stingless bees down under… prefered Brisbane… by the way i am Hamid from Sabah (North Borneo) Malaysia.. tq…

  3. Hi Nick,
    Great video and pics on your trip north. Very interesting to learn about these tropical bees. As usual you have shared your knowledge with others. And it is much appreciated.

  4. Great mini doco Nick ! very interesting. Love the Nth Qld bush. You’re welcome to do the same kinda trip up here to Bundy mate !

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