Australian Stingless Bees

Native bee nick

Hi!  I’m Native Bee Nick.

Welcome to my blog about our native stingless bees.

How my obsession with these adorable little guys began…

A few years ago my brother-in-law found a nest of native bees building in a water meter box. He showed me and instantly I was intrigued. I went home and began to research how to keep these little guys as a pet. I built a box and my wife filmed the process.

Since then I have rekindled my obsession for them and met some local bee keepers. I am learning lots and having fun while doing so.

How to find your way around

This blog features advice for the first time bee novice as well as the seasoned professional.  I’ve talked with native bee keepers and experts from all over Australia and even other countries and compiled their advice as well as my own personal observations of what works and what really doesn’t when looking after stingless bees.

I’ve broken the site down into different areas to make it easy to search about, you can use the tabs below or click these links.

Basics will include starter information such as where to put your hive, what is in your hive and what to look out for to keep your hive safe.

Intermediates is for bee keepers looking to expand their hives and will cover topics such as propagation, how close to keep hives together and how to split hives.

Advanced offers techniques for people who have worked with stingless bees for a long time and are able to adapt their hives without harming the bees.

I hope anyone visiting this site leaves it with more knowledge and love for these special little insects. I will do my best over time to cover all topics I can so that the knowledge is preserved and shared with like minded people. I hope that the future generation of children will know more than we do about bees.

If you have any questions about native Australian bees, drop me a line at nick@australiannativebee.com and I will do my best to help you. Maybe you have found a hive or want to know something about them in general. Post a question and I will do my best to help you. This site is all about helping people learn more about keeping native Australian bees.

I have also made a page on here for my bee friend Dean Haley. Check it out.

Welcome to Australian Native Bee. A blog about… Bees

More useful links:

Aussie bees

Bob the beeman

AnneDollin bees

Wiki Native bees

Series Supers

Series Supers   Series honey supers are a creation that came from a need to harvest honey without killing lots of bees. Traditionally we have used very deep supers in Australia which often contain pollen. Pollen ferments the honey and it also attracts more pests post harvest. In many ways our methods are still quite…

Trap hives for stingless bees

Trap hives for stingless bees Trap hives or lure hives are not commonly used in Australia for stingless bees. The main reason for this is our cold winters. It can be quite difficult for keepers to provide places for bees to live in a hope they will move in when cold weather prevents the bees…

Apis aenigmata- Interview with Pierre

  Bees are declining in numbers every day. Maybe one day you will have a story of a bee that doesn’t exist anymore. What is truly in decline is our native pollinators.  Let’s do what we can to provide homes for them and teach our children about them.

Removing bees from a water meter.

Removing bees from a water meter Bee Basics     Water meters, walls , pipes and even compost heaps are places native bees love to live. Re-homing them is quite simple if you know what you’re doing. If you have done it before and it has failed do not feel bad as there is a…

Stingless Bee Basics- Boxes

Stingless Bee Basics- Boxes   I thought I would put together some videos to help stingless bee keepers who are starting out answer questions they might have. Feel free to post questions below so I can get an idea what people want to know.   The first video is on a couple of box designs…

Stingless bee basics- Types of stingless bees

Stingless bee basics- Types of stingless bees Types of stingless bees most commonly kept One thing people might want to see is a few of the types of bees that people keep in boxes. Have a look in the video below as Dean Haley takes us for a tour inside some of his hives.  …

Stingless Bee Basics- Hive Make-up

Stingless Bee Basics- Hive Make-up What’s the make-up of a native bee hive? Some of you may not have seen inside your native beehive. In this video I will take a quick look inside a hive. Basic componets to a native bee colony are: -Honey pots -Pollen pots -Brood (Where the queen lays) -Different types…

Stingless bee basics- Where to locate your hive

Stingless bee basics- Where to locate your hive   Where to locate your hive is something you will need to consider when you get your first hive. Have a look at this little video for a few tips on where to place your hive when you bring it home. Some people build special stands with…

Stingless Bee Basics- Moving hives

Bee basics- Moving hives   People often ask about moving hives. How far should I move it and what about swapping my hive from the back yard to the front? Here is a little video on moving hives and relocating them to a completely new area.   Native bees can cope a lot better than…

Stingless Bee Pests

Stingless Bee Pests Pests are something that anyone keeping bees will encounter. Figuring out which one you have can be a problem if you have never seen them before. This video shows you what to look for so you can identify your own pests. Hopefully you can prevent an attack around your hives.   …

Winter Hive Care

Winter Hive Care Intermediate Winter hive care is an important thing to consider when keeping your stingless bees in a cold climate. Because as bee keepers we choose to keep them in hives outside of what they would naturally live in, some consideration is required. Here is a video I made with some things that…

Ventilation of Stingless Bee Hives

Ventilation of Stingless Bee Hives   Something that I have been excited about is the ventilation of stingless bee hives. I thought I would do a little video about the topic to explain a little better.  Switch the “CC” button on base of video for subtitles. Tips and tricks for good ventilation Drill both…

Keeping Hives Close Together – Intermediate

Keeping Hives Close Together Intermediate Keeping hives close together is something most Native bee keepers will face once they get a few hives together. Small urban blocks don’t allow to much space for city bee keepers and this is a good way to accommodate housing more then 1 hive in a small place.   Have…

Stingless Bee Intermediate – Natural hive duplication 2

Stingless Bee Intermediate  Natural hive duplication 2     Hive duplication is something I have always been interested in. The ability to make a new hive from an existing one means you can use any hive box to start your new colony in. The support offered by the mother colony means your new hive will…

Stingless Bee Intermediate – Hive split

Stingless Bee Intermediate – Hive split Performing a hive split is not something that I do often. However, it is an important thing to know how to do successfully. An unsuccessful hive split with leave you with one of two things. A) A hive that appears to be working for the first 3-6 months and…

Trap hives for stingless bees

Trap hives for stingless bees Trap hives or lure hives are not commonly used in Australia for stingless bees. The main reason for this is our cold winters. It can be quite difficult for keepers to provide places for bees to live in a hope they will move in when cold weather prevents the bees…

Micro Colonies

Micro Colonies Making micro colonies is something I have done since the beginning. I love working with little colonies to help learn about stingless bees and watch them grow. This is a short and very brief run through on what I like to do when making my own micro colonies. There is much to learn…

Marking stingless bees

Marking stingless bees Advanced Marking stingless bees is a way that we can gather information for future stingless bee keepers. What we know today about how long a queen lives for in Australia is because of this method. Here is a video showing how I mark my bees.  Why mark bees? Marking bees has…

How to tell if you have a queen bee

How to tell if you have a Queen Bee Advanced   One of the things that people often ask is “How do I tell if I have a queen in my hive?” Take a look at this brief video below before I go into more detail on how I check my hives.   Clues on…

Reviving pest infested hive – Advanced

Reviving pest infested hive Having a native bee hive come under attack by pests can be a very disheartening thing. Prevention is better than a cure but sometimes things do not go to plan. The following video will explain what you can do to help your pest infested hive. How does this fix an infested…

Exchange worker bees between colonies

Exchange worker bees between colonies Advanced Exchanging workers between colonies is a great thing to learn how to do! You can boost weak colonies, help create new colonies and provide more help to colonies that need it.   This method requires knowledge and understanding of bees and for this reason its placed under the advanced…

Apis aenigmata- Interview with Pierre

  Bees are declining in numbers every day. Maybe one day you will have a story of a bee that doesn’t exist anymore. What is truly in decline is our native pollinators.  Let’s do what we can to provide homes for them and teach our children about them.

Interview with Dave Jensen

Interview with Dave Jensen Recently I went up north to collect some samples of bees for scientific purposes and visited a friend of mine Dave Jensen. Dave’s story Dave has been into stingless bees for many years now and his passion for them has recently had a revival. Dave rang me to talk about hive…

Interview Tye and Neal

Interview Tye and Neal From The little black bee Tye and Neal from Little Black Bee are stingless bee keepers who are uniquely first nations peoples to Australia. I sat down with them and asked first up what Little Black Bee is about? Here is their answer…    Tye happily met me at the…

Interview with Bob the Bee man

Interview with Bob the Bee man Bob the bee man or Robert Luttrel is one of Australia’s more involved stingless bee keepers. Bob is always looking for new ideas and innovations to help people have a good idea how things can be done. I decided to make the trip out to his house and talk…

Interview with Lisa from Malaysia

Special thanks to Lisa for taking the time to answer my many questions and share your knowledge. Links. Pictures of Malaysian bees taken by Geeshariff   Abu Hassan Jalil Twitter

Interview with Ailton Fontana- Brazil

Interview with Ailton Fontana     Ailton Fontana Recently I conducted an interview with Brazil’s very well respected stingless bee keeper Ailton Fontana. I asked him his story of how he got started and quizzed him about indigenous stingless bee keeping in Brazil. As a part of furthering knowledge, I wanted to interview people from…

Interview with Alan and John Waters

Interview with Alan and John Waters       Today I had the pleasure to meet with two long time stingless bee keepers who happen to be brothers, Alan and John Waters. Both Alan and John keep a variety of species including Tetragonula carbonaria, Tetragonula hockingsi and Austroplebia australis. Alan and John demonstrated a vertical…

Interview with Kevin Stiller

Interview with Kevin Stiller     Today I met with Kevin Stiller! Kevin is a man who I can tell has a lot of native bee knowledge. He has kept honey bees for 48 years and only recently given it away. His interest with native bees however remains strong and it shows. Kevin is retired…

Interview and lessons from Allan Beil

  Interview and lessons from Allan Beil     Recently Dean and I went to visit Allan Beil. We spent a couple of days learning from this very kind, helpful man. Allan is a conservationist and has helped many scientists find the information they need about native bees. If you have read a scientific article…

Interview with Russel Zable

Interview with Russel Zable     As a part of my bee journey I thought it would be nice to interview some of the bee keepers I have met along the way to not only let people learn a little about them but also get maybe some incite into the people who have the same…

Series Supers

Series Supers   Series honey supers are a creation that came from a need to harvest honey without killing lots of bees. Traditionally we have used very deep supers in Australia which often contain pollen. Pollen ferments the honey and it also attracts more pests post harvest. In many ways our methods are still quite…

Trap hives for stingless bees

Trap hives for stingless bees Trap hives or lure hives are not commonly used in Australia for stingless bees. The main reason for this is our cold winters. It can be quite difficult for keepers to provide places for bees to live in a hope they will move in when cold weather prevents the bees…

Apis aenigmata- Interview with Pierre

  Bees are declining in numbers every day. Maybe one day you will have a story of a bee that doesn’t exist anymore. What is truly in decline is our native pollinators.  Let’s do what we can to provide homes for them and teach our children about them.

Stingless Bee Pests

Stingless Bee Pests Pests are something that anyone keeping bees will encounter. Figuring out which one you have can be a problem if you have never seen them before. This video shows you what to look for so you can identify your own pests. Hopefully you can prevent an attack around your hives.   …

Interview with Dave Jensen

Interview with Dave Jensen Recently I went up north to collect some samples of bees for scientific purposes and visited a friend of mine Dave Jensen. Dave’s story Dave has been into stingless bees for many years now and his passion for them has recently had a revival. Dave rang me to talk about hive…

Micro Colonies

Micro Colonies Making micro colonies is something I have done since the beginning. I love working with little colonies to help learn about stingless bees and watch them grow. This is a short and very brief run through on what I like to do when making my own micro colonies. There is much to learn…

Latest posts

Series Supers

Series Supers   Series honey supers are a creation that came from a need to harvest honey without killing lots of bees. Traditionally we have used very deep supers in Australia which often contain pollen. Pollen ferments the honey and it also attracts more pests post harvest. In many ways our methods are still quite…

Trap hives for stingless bees

Trap hives for stingless bees Trap hives or lure hives are not commonly used in Australia for stingless bees. The main reason for this is our cold winters. It can be quite difficult for keepers to provide places for bees to live in a hope they will move in when cold weather prevents the bees…

Apis aenigmata- Interview with Pierre

  Bees are declining in numbers every day. Maybe one day you will have a story of a bee that doesn’t exist anymore. What is truly in decline is our native pollinators.  Let’s do what we can to provide homes for them and teach our children about them.

Basic

Removing bees from a water meter.

Removing bees from a water meter Bee Basics     Water meters, walls , pipes and even compost heaps are places native bees love to live. Re-homing them is quite simple if you know what you’re doing. If you have done it before and it has failed do not feel bad as there is a…

Stingless Bee Basics- Boxes

Stingless Bee Basics- Boxes   I thought I would put together some videos to help stingless bee keepers who are starting out answer questions they might have. Feel free to post questions below so I can get an idea what people want to know.   The first video is on a couple of box designs…

Stingless bee basics- Types of stingless bees

Stingless bee basics- Types of stingless bees Types of stingless bees most commonly kept One thing people might want to see is a few of the types of bees that people keep in boxes. Have a look in the video below as Dean Haley takes us for a tour inside some of his hives.  …

Stingless Bee Basics- Hive Make-up

Stingless Bee Basics- Hive Make-up What’s the make-up of a native bee hive? Some of you may not have seen inside your native beehive. In this video I will take a quick look inside a hive. Basic componets to a native bee colony are: -Honey pots -Pollen pots -Brood (Where the queen lays) -Different types…

Stingless bee basics- Where to locate your hive

Stingless bee basics- Where to locate your hive   Where to locate your hive is something you will need to consider when you get your first hive. Have a look at this little video for a few tips on where to place your hive when you bring it home. Some people build special stands with…

Stingless Bee Basics- Moving hives

Bee basics- Moving hives   People often ask about moving hives. How far should I move it and what about swapping my hive from the back yard to the front? Here is a little video on moving hives and relocating them to a completely new area.   Native bees can cope a lot better than…

Intermediate

Stingless Bee Pests

Stingless Bee Pests Pests are something that anyone keeping bees will encounter. Figuring out which one you have can be a problem if you have never seen them before. This video shows you what to look for so you can identify your own pests. Hopefully you can prevent an attack around your hives.   …

Winter Hive Care

Winter Hive Care Intermediate Winter hive care is an important thing to consider when keeping your stingless bees in a cold climate. Because as bee keepers we choose to keep them in hives outside of what they would naturally live in, some consideration is required. Here is a video I made with some things that…

Ventilation of Stingless Bee Hives

Ventilation of Stingless Bee Hives   Something that I have been excited about is the ventilation of stingless bee hives. I thought I would do a little video about the topic to explain a little better.  Switch the “CC” button on base of video for subtitles. Tips and tricks for good ventilation Drill both…

Keeping Hives Close Together – Intermediate

Keeping Hives Close Together Intermediate Keeping hives close together is something most Native bee keepers will face once they get a few hives together. Small urban blocks don’t allow to much space for city bee keepers and this is a good way to accommodate housing more then 1 hive in a small place.   Have…

Stingless Bee Intermediate – Natural hive duplication 2

Stingless Bee Intermediate  Natural hive duplication 2     Hive duplication is something I have always been interested in. The ability to make a new hive from an existing one means you can use any hive box to start your new colony in. The support offered by the mother colony means your new hive will…

Stingless Bee Intermediate – Hive split

Stingless Bee Intermediate – Hive split Performing a hive split is not something that I do often. However, it is an important thing to know how to do successfully. An unsuccessful hive split with leave you with one of two things. A) A hive that appears to be working for the first 3-6 months and…

Advanced

Trap hives for stingless bees

Trap hives for stingless bees Trap hives or lure hives are not commonly used in Australia for stingless bees. The main reason for this is our cold winters. It can be quite difficult for keepers to provide places for bees to live in a hope they will move in when cold weather prevents the bees…

Micro Colonies

Micro Colonies Making micro colonies is something I have done since the beginning. I love working with little colonies to help learn about stingless bees and watch them grow. This is a short and very brief run through on what I like to do when making my own micro colonies. There is much to learn…

Marking stingless bees

Marking stingless bees Advanced Marking stingless bees is a way that we can gather information for future stingless bee keepers. What we know today about how long a queen lives for in Australia is because of this method. Here is a video showing how I mark my bees.  Why mark bees? Marking bees has…

How to tell if you have a queen bee

How to tell if you have a Queen Bee Advanced   One of the things that people often ask is “How do I tell if I have a queen in my hive?” Take a look at this brief video below before I go into more detail on how I check my hives.   Clues on…

Reviving pest infested hive – Advanced

Reviving pest infested hive Having a native bee hive come under attack by pests can be a very disheartening thing. Prevention is better than a cure but sometimes things do not go to plan. The following video will explain what you can do to help your pest infested hive. How does this fix an infested…

Exchange worker bees between colonies

Exchange worker bees between colonies Advanced Exchanging workers between colonies is a great thing to learn how to do! You can boost weak colonies, help create new colonies and provide more help to colonies that need it.   This method requires knowledge and understanding of bees and for this reason its placed under the advanced…

Interviews

Apis aenigmata- Interview with Pierre

  Bees are declining in numbers every day. Maybe one day you will have a story of a bee that doesn’t exist anymore. What is truly in decline is our native pollinators.  Let’s do what we can to provide homes for them and teach our children about them.

Interview with Dave Jensen

Interview with Dave Jensen Recently I went up north to collect some samples of bees for scientific purposes and visited a friend of mine Dave Jensen. Dave’s story Dave has been into stingless bees for many years now and his passion for them has recently had a revival. Dave rang me to talk about hive…

Interview Tye and Neal

Interview Tye and Neal From The little black bee Tye and Neal from Little Black Bee are stingless bee keepers who are uniquely first nations peoples to Australia. I sat down with them and asked first up what Little Black Bee is about? Here is their answer…    Tye happily met me at the…

Interview with Bob the Bee man

Interview with Bob the Bee man Bob the bee man or Robert Luttrel is one of Australia’s more involved stingless bee keepers. Bob is always looking for new ideas and innovations to help people have a good idea how things can be done. I decided to make the trip out to his house and talk…

Interview with Lisa from Malaysia

Special thanks to Lisa for taking the time to answer my many questions and share your knowledge. Links. Pictures of Malaysian bees taken by Geeshariff   Abu Hassan Jalil Twitter

Interview with Ailton Fontana- Brazil

Interview with Ailton Fontana     Ailton Fontana Recently I conducted an interview with Brazil’s very well respected stingless bee keeper Ailton Fontana. I asked him his story of how he got started and quizzed him about indigenous stingless bee keeping in Brazil. As a part of furthering knowledge, I wanted to interview people from…

Interview with Alan and John Waters

Interview with Alan and John Waters       Today I had the pleasure to meet with two long time stingless bee keepers who happen to be brothers, Alan and John Waters. Both Alan and John keep a variety of species including Tetragonula carbonaria, Tetragonula hockingsi and Austroplebia australis. Alan and John demonstrated a vertical…

Interview with Kevin Stiller

Interview with Kevin Stiller     Today I met with Kevin Stiller! Kevin is a man who I can tell has a lot of native bee knowledge. He has kept honey bees for 48 years and only recently given it away. His interest with native bees however remains strong and it shows. Kevin is retired…

Interview and lessons from Allan Beil

  Interview and lessons from Allan Beil     Recently Dean and I went to visit Allan Beil. We spent a couple of days learning from this very kind, helpful man. Allan is a conservationist and has helped many scientists find the information they need about native bees. If you have read a scientific article…

Interview with Russel Zable

Interview with Russel Zable     As a part of my bee journey I thought it would be nice to interview some of the bee keepers I have met along the way to not only let people learn a little about them but also get maybe some incite into the people who have the same…

Other

Series Supers

Series Supers   Series honey supers are a creation that came from a need to harvest honey without killing lots of bees. Traditionally we have used very deep supers in Australia which often contain pollen. Pollen ferments the honey and it also attracts more pests post harvest. In many ways our methods are still quite…

Trap hives for stingless bees

Trap hives for stingless bees Trap hives or lure hives are not commonly used in Australia for stingless bees. The main reason for this is our cold winters. It can be quite difficult for keepers to provide places for bees to live in a hope they will move in when cold weather prevents the bees…

Apis aenigmata- Interview with Pierre

  Bees are declining in numbers every day. Maybe one day you will have a story of a bee that doesn’t exist anymore. What is truly in decline is our native pollinators.  Let’s do what we can to provide homes for them and teach our children about them.

Stingless Bee Pests

Stingless Bee Pests Pests are something that anyone keeping bees will encounter. Figuring out which one you have can be a problem if you have never seen them before. This video shows you what to look for so you can identify your own pests. Hopefully you can prevent an attack around your hives.   …

Interview with Dave Jensen

Interview with Dave Jensen Recently I went up north to collect some samples of bees for scientific purposes and visited a friend of mine Dave Jensen. Dave’s story Dave has been into stingless bees for many years now and his passion for them has recently had a revival. Dave rang me to talk about hive…

Micro Colonies

Micro Colonies Making micro colonies is something I have done since the beginning. I love working with little colonies to help learn about stingless bees and watch them grow. This is a short and very brief run through on what I like to do when making my own micro colonies. There is much to learn…