Native stingless bees
Image credit: Townsville and District Beekeepers Association
They are small, but they play a super important role in pollinating the food we eat and the plants that grow. Bees have a huge role in biodiversity, it is estimated that one in three mouthfuls we eat is thanks to bees.
Townsville and District Beekeepers Association have been awarded a community grant which will see the installation of a native stingless bee hive in Wadda Mooli Park. This hive will be a complementary installation to the new community garden, which will greatly benefit from local pollinators making the magic happen! They are as their name suggests, stingless, so young ones can explore and learn about the hive (which will be protected by a cover) safely.
The Townsville area is perfect for keeping native bees. There are approximately 2000 native bee species in Australia, however, only 10 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 highly prized by First Nations people who refer to it as ‘sugar bag’ honey.
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.
Keep an eye out, the native bee hive will be coming to Wadda Mooli Park soon. There will also be future community workshops to learn more about this special species.
Thinking about one for your backyard?