Bees are amazing little creatures that are essential for the pollination of many of our plants. A bonus of keeping bees is you get to harvest and consume your own honey. I was introduced to the concept of native bee keeping through a friend from work. These amazing little creatures are fabulous little pollinators for the home garden. Being stingless there is no requirement to register your hive and no land size restrictions. We had three native bee hives of the Genus: Tetragonula and Austroplebeia the Binomial name is Tetragonula carbonaria, etragonula hockingsi and Austroplebeia australis. Sadly we lost our Tetragonula carbonaria hive in the move. Previously I've lost weak hives through winter and one I think to pesticides being sprayed around the house next door to us.
We also had two honey bee hives one which was started from a nucleus and the other from a swarm. With the move to CQ we've sold both hives and will start off with a new nucleus hive sourced locally.
- Apis millifera The European honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica) is a variety of honey bees and is yellow-brown in colour with distinct dark bands. They originated in and around the Appenine Peninsula in Italy. Honey bee hives do require registering with the Department of Primary Industries. you can read more about them here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_honey_bee
- Tretragonula carbonaria is the most widespread of the native bees, and the most commonly found in the south east of Queensland. They can also be found in North Queensland and the southern coast of New South Wales. This species of native bee is easily distinguished from others by the flat spiral pattern of the brood mass.
- Austroplebeia australis are most common inland but can also be found in coastal regions. They have a small creamy white mark at the base of the thorax which help in its identification. Austroplebeia australis hives commonly have a small entrance to their hive which they close each afternoon with a lattice of nest material to act like a security screen door.
- Tetragonula hockingsi is most likely to be found north of Brisbane. It is slightly larger than most other species of native stingless bees. The eggs of its brood mass are laid in a more hap hazard manner and this can help to distinguish a hockingsi hive from a carbonaria hive.