What Bees are Native to QLD?
There are many types of native bees in Queensland including Leaf cutter bees, Carpenter bees, Blue banded bees and even a larger Teddy bear bee. These native bees fill an important role fertilising native plants and our gardens.
The most common species around Brisbane are Tetragonula carbonaria and Tetragonula hockingsi.
The majority of them are solitary or live in small groups and can sting.
Native bees that are stingless live in larger colonies and are more likely to be noticed. On a warm day they will be very busy collecting nectar and pollen.
Where Bees Like to Nest
Native bees usually nest somewhere that is slightly humid, not damp and insulated from fluctuations in temperature.
They prefer to build their nest inside a hollow log or a large crevice in a tree but in urban areas will select gaps in brickwork and build a nest inside the wall of a building or another cavity near a building.
Small gaps in garden retaining walls made from timber are popular with the bees, as well as water meter boxes.
When Bees Become a Problem
Bees that are native to Queensland are important pollinators of native plants so we encourage people to accept their insect tenants if they don’t pose a problem to anyone. However, sometimes native bees nest in places that are not convenient, like in front of a doorway, and your committee may seek to get them removed.
Native bee nest removal can be arranged if their cavity can be opened; for example, inside a water meter box or behind some timber work that can be removed. The nest and its queen can be transferred to a wooden bee box/hive and relocated to continue their vital pollination efforts.
It is essential to remove the centre of the nest, called the brood with all its eggs, as well as many of the adult native bees with some of the pollen and honey. Any remnants of the hive must then be scraped out so they do not attract a new group of bees to move into the vacant space.
If it is impossible to remove the nest in this way, you will then have to resort using chemicals to remove the colony. It is preferable to then seal up the entry holes to exclude other insects who will want to come and eat the honey.
Can We Leave the Hive in the Wall?
The longer you leave a beehive in your wall the larger it will become. In times of bad weather or shortage of nectar and pollen the bees will become either defensive of their hive or aggressive to anyone near their hive.
Can We Get Rid of the Bees Ourselves?
While you might feel like a full can of mortein can handle the job, there could be anywhere between 10 000 to 100 000 bees in a bee colony and they can become aggressive.
Beekeepers wear suits for a reason. Working with bees is dangerous when untrained and without the right equipment. So when you see bees on your property or in a wall call the professionals and don’t risk your safety!
Bee swarms should only be removed by experienced beekeepers who know what they are doing.
If you have any bee problems give a specialist a call and they will explain the best solution for your problem.