Elke breeds and supplies native stingless bees in Sydney as one of the ways she is able to contribute to Australia’s natural food and bio security.
Native bees are also fascinating to observe and a very rewarding addition to your garden.
Native Stingless Bees in hives are delivered in Spring (October through to December). Elke takes limited bookings with deposit from March during the year for the upcoming spring. Bookings are currently closed (due to open up in March 2022 with pricing published in March 2022).
Elke provides a limited number of hand made hives of Native stingless bees for purchase for locating in coastal parts of Sydney each spring.
The native stingless bees are called Tetragonula carbonaria and are native to the Sydney Basin (and are also found in coastal areas of NSW and Qld). Elke’s native bees are acclimatised to the Sydney coastal climatic seasons as the bees are bred here in Sydney.
Stingless bees are not suited to the western or elevated areas of the Sydney Basin due to temperature extremes being too great for Tetragonula to survive. Even in more coastal locations in Sydney, the siting of the hive is very important to ensure good temperature regulation.
(Tetragonula carbonaria) native stingless bees are endemic to the Sydney Basin (as well as to coastal parts of Qld and NSW). The native hives can be put in your garden, community space, school, child care centre, nursing home or other landscape space (including balconies or verandahs).
Please note: Bookings are currently closed as have now all been taken for this year. Sorry if you have missed out.
Click here for a list of upcoming native bee workshops and useful links.
Here is a 12 minute video of me showing and explaining the different parts of a Native Stingless Bee Hive (thanks care of: the Randwick Sustainability Hub)
We are learning that establishing plants (bee food) is increasingly the most important action you can take in helping out our native pollinators. Yes, more important than buying a native stingless bee hive! Here are some great flowering plants to start growing if you are in Sydney. Also, click here for more plant suggestions.
Plants which native bees pollinate include macadamias, strawberries, tomatoes, blueberries, mango, watermelon, daisies, and many of the flowering Australian native plants like Westringia, Scaevola, Eucalyptus, Leptospermum, Melaleuca, Angophora and many others native and exotic flowering plants.
Native stingless bees also pollinate edible fruits, herbs and vegetables such including: salvia, parsley, sage, coriander, nasturtium, rocket flowers, tarragon, grape, brassica family plants like kale, basil, palm flowers, banana flowers, water lilies, passion fruit, Camellia sasanqua, nandina, crepe myrtle, crocus and many more.
Australian native flowering trees and plants have developed their flower shape to attract native bees and pollinators. Native bees and the resins they produce are likely to provide as yet untapped medical and health benefits.
Tetragonula carbonaria (native stingless bees) are only about 4 mm long and are mostly black with iridescent wings. The tetragonula carbonaria are the only naturally occurring social Australian native stingless bee species found in the Sydney basin.
Have a look at this short clip of our Native Stingless Bees at Barangaroo.
Climate regulation and the initial location of your beehive is important in Sydney. The location is to be fixed (not moved once installed) as the bees have a very accurate geo-locating sense. The bees need to receive a minimum of 3 hours of direct morning sun all year around (especially important in winter). The hive needs afternoon summer shade and direct winter sun in the morning in order to keep a regulated internal temperature (and not melt down in summer). Install the hive off the ground for air flow and to reduce moisture and ants.
Click here for more information on what is involved in keeping native bees . They are mostly low maintenance once established (but not ‘no maintenance’). Keep cobwebs away from the hive entry as well as regulate the hive from extreme temperatures and keep the hive dry where possible. Note: the location you put your bees in is a fixed location (if you move the hive, the bees wont be able find their home). For information on predators (see the information sheets – link above).
If you already have native bees and are looking to ‘troubleshoot’ something strange you’ve noticed or would like further tips on looking after your hive to give it/your bees the best chance. Click here.
If you don’t have your native stingless bee hive yet, and would like tips on how to set up your hive/work out if your place is suitable in terms of climate and location and other tips to give your bees a good chance, Click here for more information on what is involved in keeping native bees .
Elke native stingless bee hives are delivered between October to December – due to the breeding cycles and climate of Sydney. Elke’s hives have become a unique gift for garden and nature enthusiasts (but please make sure the lucky recipient of your gift knows what is involved, as it is a small responsibility and a living insect colony).
Watching your native bees come and go from your hive is wonderfully therapeutic and fascinating.
Owning native bees is also an important contribution you can make to ecosystem security and re-establishing urban ecology, however so is planting pollinator food (click here for Sydney suitable pollinator plants you can establish in your garden/verge). Contact Elke if you would like further information or would like to order and buy your native hive.
Mobile: 0410 456 404.
To find out more about native bees, visit Dr Anne Dollin’s ‘Aussie Bee and Australian Native Bee Research‘ website with a wealth of knowledge on the fascinating world of native bees. www.aussiebee.com.au
We are currently conducting research and scientific analysis of native stingless bee pollen, honey, propolis, resins and floral resource data to find out more about Australia’s unique native social stingless bees. Native bees and the resins they produce are likely to provide as yet untapped medical and health benefits. We hope to be able to report back to you once this research is completed with useful information about your native bees.
The photo above shows the inside nest of the native bees, Tetragonula carbonaria. The brood (eggs) are on the left and the honey stores (sugarbag honey) is stored in pots (right of photo). Pollen stores are also seen on the right. For a sense of scale, the Tetragonula bees are about 3 to 4mm long.
I look forward to hearing from you with any questions you have. From Elke Haege – Native Stingless Bees Sydney.