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.
A brief description on types of stingless bees from observations I have made.
Tetragonula Hockingsi- A hardy bee accustomed to hot weather. Deals with pests very fast and copes better with removing them than that of Tetragonula carbonaria. Produces sweet tasting honey that seems to be more stable in flavour than that of carbonaria. Slightly larger across thorax and carries a “bulldog stance” when walking around. More likely to bite you when working on their hive as they tend to be slightly more aggressive than carbonaria. Can build very large nests and move a lot of nectar and pollen. Splits can take a bit more time becuase of the way brood is fashioned in hive.
Tetragonula carbonaria– A great all-round bee that is able to handle a bit more cold than hockingsi. Uses a very large workforce to build their hive with. Hives often look very very busy. Honey flavor can vary quite a lot. Flavors varying from fruits such as citrus, passion fruit, pineapple and apricot to almost savory/sour in flavor depending on what flowers are in your area. Their body is more straight in stance. Once strong, a carbonaria hive is quite pleasant to work with and recovery time is pretty quick because of their work force. Carbonaria can also be aggressive.
Austroplebeia australis- A gentle natured bee with a lot of personality. Deals with extreme heat and also very cold conditions quite well. Nest is lighter in colour because they prefer to use less plant material then Tetragonula. Hive has a different smell similar to popcorn in some boxes. Work actively to chase pests and protect their nest. Nest size and work force are typically much smaller in size but efficiency is excellent. At night they close their entrance with a little wax screen door. Don’t bite you when working with them.