Our native stingless bees have just arrived!

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The bee hive, straight out of the shipping box

Very exciting! Our native stingless bees arrived today via courier. I ordered them  from Tim Heard of Sugarbag in Queensland. I thought I would have to wait several months, but it was only a few weeks before they arrived via courier.

The bee hive on its platform on the side fence

I’d already picked out a place for them, on the side fence beside the house. This gives the hive morning sun (useful in winter), and keeps it out of the strong afternoon sun (vital in summer). Over the weekend, I constructed a small platform for the hive to sit on (with some help).

Then it was just a mater of putting up the hive, and removing the plug from the front entrance, and the one from the ventilation hole at the back. Immediately they fly  out to scope out the neighbourhood, and to find their bearings.

The hive with its roof on, protecting it from the elements

So why bees? The native stingless bees are much smaller than European bees, and as the name suggests, don’t sting. This is a good thing. The main reason for having them is to improve pollination rates for my vege patch, and for the fruit trees planned for later.

They’re not going to produce much, if any honey. If they do, that’s a bonus. I just like the idea of them flying around, tending to our plants and bringing a little bit of the bush into Lewisham …

8 thoughts on “Our native stingless bees have just arrived!

    David Eade said:
    February 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Just stumbled on your site James – it’s fabulous! You’ve motivated me to produce a similar blog for our pad here in Brisbane. Love the guerilla gardening stuff! and will definitely be ordering some bees too – still feel uncomfortable self pollinating our pumpkins!!


      James responded:
      February 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      Great, the more blogs the better! Drop me a line when you have it up and running and I’ll add it to my long list of news feeds … 🙂

    Maggie said:
    February 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Hi James,

    I have some native stingless bees at my place in Petersham (Trigona carbonaria) so it is great to see they are starting to colonise the inner-west. I have found http://www.aussiebee.com.au/ to be an excellent source of information.

    I have an “insulation” cover (painted green styrofoam box) on my hive to help protect them from the elements – this covers the whole hive. I acquired mine through the Bushcare Coordinator at Ku-ring-gai Council.

    Happy beekeeping!


    Splitting the hive « Lewisham House said:
    September 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    […] the beginning of the year we obtained some native stingless bees for the garden. These little guys have been great, flying around the garden pollinating, without […]

    Natural beekeeping « Lewisham House said:
    March 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    […] and organised by Milkwood Permaculture. Bees have always been an interest (which is why we have native stingless bees already), and this seemed to be an ideal opportunity to learn […]

    […] long after we created our vege patch, we obtained a small hive of native stingless bees. These are cute little guys, flying around and pollinating our plants. The perfect set-and-forget […]

    […] had native stingless bees for several years now, and they live very happily in their small home, complete with a tin […]

    Jason said:
    February 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

    James, just wondering if these bees are predators for garden pests, such as aphids and the like? I know some wasps are so thought it might be a possibility.

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