Life is sweet

Native social stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria)

New hive a haven for native bees


Inspired by individual homeowners at Maroochy Quays and Bribie Island, GemLife is about to launch a program that will introduce Australian native stingless beehives to GemLife resorts.

The pilot program will take place this year at GemLife Palmwoods.

“Creating a beautiful sustainable environment is very important to us at GemLife, so we’re delighted to add native beehives as part of the program,” said Mark Langdon, GemLife’s Director of Sustainability.

“Bees play such an important role in the ecosystem. In fact, it is believed that two-thirds of Australia’s agricultural production is dependent on bee pollination. So, the benefits of encouraging these bees are more than just supporting the environment around the resort, but also in the surrounding bushland.”

The bees being evaluated are the native social stingless bees (Tetragonula carbonaria). These bees are generally smaller than the European honeybees and are black in colour. They can fly up to a kilometre away but prefer to find their pollen closer to home whenever possible.

This bee species is also used commercially in Queensland to pollinate macadamias, mangoes, watermelons, and lychees.

Australia has eleven species of small black stingless bees. They are about 4mm long and live in the more temperate climate across the top end of Australia and down the Queensland Coast into Northern New South Wales.

Tetragonula carbonaria produce a unique type of tangy honey called ‘sugarbag’, however they are not prolific producers of honey, unlike the European honeybees, and will typically produce only one kilogram per year.

Mark says the location of the hive is still under consideration but will likely be located in the gardens beneath the newly opened GemLife Palmwoods boardwalk.

“If this trial runs as well as we hope, I would expect to see this initiative rolled out to other GemLife resorts as well,” he said.