Also commonly known as Stingless Bees which are very distant relatives of Ants and wasps are also quite closely related to the Honey bee Producing a very distinctive honey with citrus notes. the two main types for SE Qld are Tetragonula and Austroplebia.
The Stingless Bee has not one queen but can coexist with another and a number of Princesses in the same hive successfully re queening within the colony.
They collect and use plant resin mixing with wax to produce material for the hive containining the Brood and honey super
Native bees protect their hive from intruders by biting and coating the intruders in resin, the hive entry is a narrow tube to 12cm in length making hive robbery and invasion by pests difficult.
Native bees cannot regulate hive temperature like Honey bees! So rely on good placement of hive usually a hollow log or quite often in the ground where temperatures rarely change throughout the year, they will only venture out when temperatures go above 18 degrees Celsius.
The bees can be robbed twice a year producing up to 1 litre of honey from a strong hive, many people prefer to just leave them to pollinate the garden though. Travel distance for the native bee from the hive is up to 500 meters and they co exist with out any problems with the honey bee, quite often pollinating flowers the honey bee cannot reach due to it's size.