We are not just an ordinary skincare brand. We aim to help protect our Australian native stingless bees that are under threat due to habitat loss, deforestation, land clearing or pesticide use.
Australian native stingless bees are found naturally in hollows of trees and rock retaining walls in nature. The species found within Brisbane are usually Tetragonula hockingsi and Tetragonula carbonaria. These urban bees form nests in areas such as tree hollows, retaining walls or man-made cavities.
The problem occurs when they seek an alternative nesting site such as water meter boxes. They are attracted to these water meters due to the perfect environment and size to regulate temperate for their nest.
You will notice the bees as small black flying insects (approximately 4-5 mm long) that is entering and exiting the hole in the water meter lid. Sometimes, there is a large swarm near the entrance. They do not sting, although when disturbed they can respond in defense by biting.
These bees in water meters are usually an issue as they can block access to the tap to turn off the water. Also, the water meter cannot be read, as the native bees usually build a propolis structure over the water meter window.
Australian native stingless bees are very important for the environment, and when found in urban utility water meters, they should not be disturbed but safely removed and relocated.
This rescue was at 4:40 am, right before dawn, when the bees were less active and not leaving the nest yet. It's important to be fast and precise to not stress the bees too much.
In the picture above, you can see that the water meter was not visible and fully covered with honey pots, pollen and propolis. The size of the bee brood shows that it's a very strong colony of Tetragonula hockinsi.
We safely rescued and relocated the bee colony in the water meter. The bees were relocated to a hive box purchased from the local beekeeper and removed from the site. The water meter will be monitored over time, as occasionally, the native stingless bees can return and rebuild their nest.
The bees and their brood were transferred into the wooden hive
If you come across native stingless bees in Brisbane or Moreton Bay Region, contact us. There is no need to poison or disturb them, as they can be safely removed and relocated.