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Australian Native Bees


Hi Everyone

I have a couple of Native bee hives at home and was wondering if I am likely to face any issues having the Flow Hive on the same property or near these other hives

Appreciate any advice



Hi Scott, I’m pleased to be able to answer this question. You wont have any problems whatsoever. I have a native hive right next to my observation beehive, they co-exist without any problems. Good luck with everything, cheers


Hi Scott, small hive beetle could be devastating to your native bees, we see it here in Sydney, they are attracted to the Honeybee hives but could decimate your native bees as they have no way of defending against the beetle. A mesh screen across the entrance (fly screen) big enough for the natives to get through and small enough to block the beetles. I don’t have the measurements but could find out if you need it.


Hi Rodd, I believe the biggest issue with SHB is when you split the natives. If you allow honey & pollen to sit on the floor after a split, the beetle will take over. Also in the early stages of a split before the natives get a chance to build their tunnel. I saw that for myself. What happens, if a beetle enters an established hive, it has to negotiate the tunnel. The bees dab propolis on them to immobilize them before completely covering them with propolis. They are tough little fellows, I wouldn’t want to be a beetle that enters an established hive. Here’s what could possibly happen to one:)


Nice one Jeff, I have seen two hives in the backyard fight to the death in this way, the bees grab each other in a death grip and don’t let go, you end up with piles of little bees on the ground. We originally thought a hive was swarming but it turned out they were fighting. Ended up having to move one of the hives away to prevent the weaker hive from dying out.


Thanks Rod, I saw that when I bought a split home that I bartered for. I put it between two hives, that was a big mistake. I should have put it around the front. Another lesson learned:). It was during that little exercise that I saw the potential of how devastating the beetle could be on an unestablished hive with honey & pollen on the floor. My hive right next to my observation hive is doing well, would you believe I got it in the middle of winter when the beetle are not so active. At the risk of putting too many videos on the forum:) here is my video of it:)

This is the update of the two colonies that finished up as three colonies.


Amazing…! The honeycomb looks very brittle? How does it compare to european bees comb? Is it always that dark & does it become malleable with warmth? Or have I got it wrong & it’s not wax at all…
Definitely inspiration for my insect hotel.


Hi Kirsten, thank you:)!!! The comb with honey is fairly soft & malleable. I haven’t had all that much experience with these bees, I’m learning as I go. That is wax that they make & it’s known as sugarbag wax. The honey is also known as sugarbag. The wax is more sought after for traditional didgeridoos than honeybee wax, but it’s wayyy more expensive, as you can imagine.
A bloke who I met about 12 months ago rang me yesterday chasing a native bee hive, I held back selling one. However he built an insect hotel since then & he reckons it’s getting well occupied:) So that’s good. Good luck with yours, take care, bye


Hi everyone

Thanks for the info, happy to hear I will not have a turf war between the bees.

My native hives have been at home for years, just doing their thing. Interestingly a year ago I thought bees from one hive were swarming, but some time later there are no bees - perhaps I was witnessing a war? One hive is now abandoned - got to get some more, think I will move the hive.

Thanks for the tip with Beetle - will keep an eye out. Rodderick - would be good to get mesh dimension when you have a chance, just in case I need to look at doing that



Hi Kirsten, to answer your question about the wax color. It is generally a dark color, however I think it gets darker with age because they keep re-using it. They build new brood comb for each generation, after the larvae spins it cocoon, the wax is removed & re-used. You can see the difference between new brood & old brood because new brood has dark wax covering it & old brood is light in color, the color of the cocoons. After the brood hatches, new brood is being built behind them. Unlike honeybees where the cocoons buildup in the old cells, thus altering the size of the bees. I find it fascinating. Also the honey & pollen is stored in separate pots unlike honeybees where the same comb is used for all three purposes. cheers


These creatures, native or european are incredible. I’d love to see/hear more about your native bee hive as time progresses.
After thinking we didn’t have any native bees here, we have had a few in our garden over the last couple of months. I’m not sure what sort they are, smaller than the ones you have & cream to yellow bands on abdomen. I sent a photo to the Melbourne Museum as they have an ID service but although confirmed as a bee still thinking about type.


Hi Kirsten, thank you, would you believe that we have nearly 2000 species of bees native to Australia. Only about a dozen species live in colonies. The rest are solitary. Also we have about 12,000 species of native wasp. Life as we know it wouldn’t be the same without wasps, so they say. Lots of then are parasitoids, apart from paper wasps, gall wasps, flower wasps, mud wasps, there’s even cuckoo wasps. It wasn’t until I read for several hours all about wasps, that I started noticing them flying amongst my vegetables looking for grubs to feed their larvae on. All adult wasps feed on nectar, lots of them use grubs & caterpillars as food for their young. Makes you realize how important wasps are, as well as bees. This is an opportunity to show my video, basically me talking before I knew how to edit the “and, ares” out, sorry about that.

This is the video I mention at the end of my talk.

cheers… PS. here is another interesting NatGeo clip, Hornets from Hell.


LOve the videos you and Wilma come up with :smile:


G’day Sya, thank you:) I have another NatGeo vid to put up, if you’d like, it’s kind of bee related. It get’s it’s name because it raids beehives, it’s not after the honey, it’s after the brood. cheers:)


You have so many interesting videos! I saw my first Blue Banded Bee yesterday & another today, added bonus they were in our garden. One flew straight between my legs while I was hanging out washing. :grinning:


G’day Kirsten, thank you:) They are great little bees. I’m not sure where they nest, in the ground, I think.


G’day Sya, thank you:) I had a bit of a misadventure trying to get some bees out of a tree branch. Wilma told me she didn’t have the camera on, however she did. I should have had the trestles directly under the nest, if that was the case, I might have been alright. At the same time my hives are filling up, some chock-a-block. This is my video of the situation, cheers


This is my Australian Stingless Native Bee trap out strategy. These bees happen to be the Tetragonula Hockingsi.


Hiya Jeff. Thanks for the vids, interesting. I was outside in the veggie patch today and saw a native bee doing its thing and was wondering about their range from the colony? And am also curious about their honey, is it the same as honey bees?


Hi Greg, thank YOU!!! happy new year. They say it’s about 500 meters. The honey is still very sweet & more runny than regular honey, it’s quite tangy & citrusy, especially if some pollen is mixed with the honey. I store mine in the freezer now, I had some go to vinegar sitting in the fridge after quite a few months. That didn’t matter, I added it to my chili sauce I make. Here’s the link to one of them in case your into cooking & spicy hot sauces. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp59u10j8NM cheers.

PS I saw you holding up a fish, this sauce is great with seafood.