BRAINS TRUST – Australian Native Bees

What is a native bee?

Different to the European honey bee most people are familiar with, Australia has around 2000 native bee species which are found all around the country. Nearly all of our native bees are solitary bees, meaning they nest on their own and only provision cells with enough pollen and nectar to feed their young. Interestingly, 70 percent of our native bees nest in the ground.

Do native bees make honey?

Only 11 of the 2000 species of native bees live in communities we could call hives. These are our stingless bees and can be kept in hives, and in some cases you can collect their honey. Native stingless hives only produce around one kilogram per year versus around 50 kilograms per year from a honey-bee hive. Bees that store extra honey that humans can harvest is actually extremely rare among bee species across the world.