Do native bees make honey?

Of the approximately 1700 species of Australian native bees, only 11 are classes as 'highly social' bees, which means they live as a community in a hive. These highly social native bees produce a small amount of honey, called 'Sugarbag'. One Australian native bee hive can make up to 1kg per year; in comparison, european honey bees can produce more than 100kg of honey per year.

Can I harvest the honey from an Australian native bee hive?

Yes, you can. However, if you live in colder parts of Australia, such as southern NSW, you should not harvest the honey as the bees will need all their honey and pollen stores to survive the winter.

If you want to harvest some honey from your bees, you should look at purchasing a hive box with a 'honey super'. This is a hive with a top section that is seperated from the main hive using a brood excluder plate. This creates a space at the top of the hive that the bees will use exclusively for food storage.