The Stingless Bee is the only truly social bee found in the Sydney area.
Tetragonula are small, dark bees which form colonies in tree hollows and other cavities. They are one of the few species of native bees that form large social nests.
The Stingless Bee lives in urban and rural areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.
The Stingless Bee is found in coastal areas from Queensland to southern New South Wales.
Feeding and diet
The Stingless Bee feeds on pollen and nectar.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The Stingless Bee's nest is usually made in the trunks of large trees and can contain several thousand bees. Constructed from a waxy substance secreted by workers and resin collected from trees, the nest has a spiral-shaped honeycomb centre.
Life history cycle
The Stingless Bee stores pollen and nectar in pot-like structures near the outer edge of the nest. The queen lays a single egg into brood cells stocked with honey and pollen, and a worker bee quickly seals the cell. Hive members collect nectar and pollen from a number of different flowers. They can lead each other to good food sources using a chemical scent trail.
Tetragonula produce a thin honey, which can be used as bush tucker. The cultivation of Tetragonula in artificial nests is being developed for more commercial uses.
Danger to humans
Tetragonula species are stingless and so are harmless to humans.