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Native Bees Australia - Pollinators of Wildflowers

Australian Flannel Flower
Flannel Flower

Native Bees Australia range from 24 mm to 2 mm, with over 2,000 varieties. Australian native bees, which come in various sizes, forms, and behaviours, are crucial pollinators of our beautiful native flora and wildflowers.

Beyond the value of our native bees to the ecology of Australia, Australian agriculture dramatically benefits from their presence. The imported honey bees, Apis Mellifera, are today Australia's primary source of agricultural pollination. But our native bee species might also be able to contribute significantly in this regard.

Native bee species have evolved to be effective pollinators of crops like lucerne and apples, including leafcutter bees, mason bees, and alkali bees. The stingless and blue-banded bee can potentially be a specialised pollinator in Australia.

Only a tiny portion of the 2,000 native Australian bee species have had their potential effects on Australian agriculture examined thus far. There is an urgent need for more research on the use of native Australian bees in agriculture.

native bees australia

Australian Native Bees Without Stingers Honey Production

Native bees (Australia) without stingers are a primitive species that only make modest amounts of honey. They can only produce more honey than they require for their own life in warm regions of Australia, such as northern NSW and Queensland. A nest may become frail or even die if honey is removed from it in a cooler environment.

However, these bees can produce honey in warm regions of Australia. Hives can also be successfully kept in boxes and multiplied through splitting in these locations. Special techniques and hive designs are created to harvest stingless bees' honey.

Sugarbag is the name of the sweet, rich honey that Australia's native, stingless bees create.

Sugarbag is the stingless bee honey that Aboriginal people cherished and harvested from wild nests. Stingless bees store their flavourful honey in groups of tiny resin pots at the edges of the nest. The resin enhances the honey with a wide range of tart flavours, including eucalyptus and lemon. When poured over ice cream, it is fantastic! However, because each hive only produces roughly 1 kg of honey annually, Sugarbag honey is a unique product to be savoured.

Honey Pots

Australian stingless bees use little pots to store their honey. They resemble a shimmering bunch of grapes when they are filled. Stingless bees called Austroplebeia constructed these beautiful pots.

Queen Bee

The queen of some Australian stingless bee species can lay up to 300 eggs daily, or more than 100,000 young in a year. Around 90 brood cells are typically created, nourished, and laid in batches of this size every few hours. In her lifetime, the queen will only have one mating. Males lose their lives after mating (we won't go into the graphic details here). It's challenging to maintain this demanding laying lifestyle, and as soon as the queen reduces her output, the worker bees (her progeny) will start preparations for a new queen to take over.

A female bee will develop from a fertilised egg, whereas a male bee will develop from an unfertilised egg, which is how the queen judges whether an egg she is laying will result in a male or female bee. As a result, no male bee has a father (only a grandfather).

Swarming Australian Native Bees

A hive of native stingless bees may swarm for various reasons, but they are all distinct from the reason honey bees swarm, which is to establish a new colony.

The two types of native bee swarms that occur most frequently are mating and fighting swarms. When a fresh ('virgin') queen needs to mate, she signals to the nearby drones that she is looking for a mate, which can draw many male bees.

A strong colony of local bees will locate a weak colony to attack and gain control in a phenomenon known as a fighting swarm. Many dead bees can be seen along with swarms numbering in the thousands.

It is up to all of us to keep the conservation of bees and protect our beautiful planet.

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