Find out how to enter the amazing world of native bees.

Are you looking for a pet that’s low maintenance and buzzing with excitment? Dr Tim Heard is here to help.

The entomologist will present the Enter the amazing world of native bees workshop at the Griffith University EcoCentre on 31 July and you are invited to come along.

During the presentation he will cover a wide range of topics including bee nesting and foraging biology, the diversity of wild bees, the importance of bees in natural systems, modern stingless beekeeping in Australia, and how stingless bees can be used to pollinate gardens and farms. He will also discuss sugarbag honey and its properties and how bees threatened in the wild can be rescued.

In the practical session of this workshop, participants will see Dr Heard will open a hive and be able to observe the amazing structures within. He will then divide the hive into two halves, demonstrating the process of colony propagation.

Dr Heard has been keeping Australian native stingless bees for nearly 30 years and transferred his first hive from a cut down tree into a wooden box in 1985.

“I now have more than 300 hives obtained through rescuing threatened wild hives and splitting existing hives,” he says. “They make excellent pets. Once you are set up with the hive they are easy to take care of.

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A stingless bee collecting nectar from a palm flower

“They are becoming much more popular now that people are becoming more aware of them. Even people who live in Brisbane City in apartments are starting to keep them on their balconies.”

Stingless bees are highly social insects, with one queen and thousands of workers who live together in a protected place which, in nature, is usually in a hollow tree. As their name suggests, they do not have a sting although they can give you a little bite with their jaws. Although there are hundreds of species of Australian native bees, the stingless bees are the only ones that make and store quantities of honey.

Enter the amazing world of native bees will be held at Griffith University EcoCentre, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Road, Nathan from 10am to 4pm on Thursday 31 July. The cost of this workshop is $25 per head or $15 for concession card holders. Entry includes morning tea. For bookings and more information contact Tim Heard at tim@sugarbag.net