Native Bees

The Townsville area is perfect for keeping native bees. There are approx 2000 native bee species in Australia, however, only 11 are social and all prefer the warmer top-half of the continent. Native bees don’t produce much honey, but what little they do, is much prized by indigenous Australians who refer to it as “sugar bag”. In the Townsville area, the predominant species is Tetragonula Hockingsi. They are about the size of an ant, yet despite their diminutive size and lack of sting, they more than hold their own against invaders.

The Townsville and District Beekeepers Association has a native bee rescue group who are willing to help in the removal of native bee colonies which may have taken up residence inside meter boxes or perhaps some other inconvenient place. Please contact

How do native bees and commercial bees get along? Do they have a buzzin’ rivalry?

Well, it turns out they are actually quite friendly and won’t sting each other while foraging on the same flowers. However, the Honeybees are much better foragers and can fly in lower temperatures. This can lead to trouble when food is scarce, as the little native bees may have a hard time keeping up with their European counterparts. So, let’s all do Three for Bees, ensure there’s enough food to go around for all the bees!

native bees

The Asian honeybee is now in Townsville!!

please contact Biosecurity 13 25 23 if you see bee swarms or unusual bee activity