Of the 1,600 species of wild bees native to Australia about 14 species are stingless.Some Stingless Bees have been "cultivated", i.e. kept in boxes which can be brought to the fields for pollination. Australian Stingless Bees however live only in the warmer climates and the number of hives being kept by beekeepers at present is limited.Stingless bees are starting to be used for crop pollination of crops such as Macadamia and Avocado in Queensland and northern NSW.However, the vast majority of crop pollination in Australia is currently done by European honeybees.Native Australian stingless bees are under threat from human development.Bob the Bee Man aims to rescue and relocate colonies of the stingless native bees of Australia - his website is especially for tree loppers and vegetation management workers, firewood cutters, earthmoving contractors, timber getters of all types and the farming community.You find good information on Australia's Stingless Bees in an ABC Science article from 11-Sep-2009 "Stingless bee rescue".
Blue-banded bees (Amegilla cingulata) are native to Australia and are solitary insects. They are eye-catching because of their shimmering blueish colour and because they can often be seen hovering over a flower. They typically build their nests in sandstone, mud or the mortar-gaps in the brickwork of houses.
And then there is the honey; mankind has had an interest in European Honeybees for thousands of years for their honey. As the honeybees originate from cooler climates they have developed the ability to gather and store great amounts of honey during the warm season to survive through the cold season. Bees from warm climates store very little honey if at all. And what is the reward for beekeeping without the honey?The Australian stingless bees only store about 1 kg of honey per year in their hives. A small niche industry is starting in Australia with this tangy 'Sugarbag' honey. However, the stingless bees cannot produce enough honey to supply Australia's large scale commercial needs. In comparison, on average here in Australia European Honeybees store 70 to 100 kg of honey per year in their hive. (World record is over 300 kg)