The only native hive bees in Australia are the small, black, stingless species of Trigona and Austroplebia. Nests in dead limbs are often revealed when trees are felled. They can easily be set up in a portable hive by transferring the comb and as many bees as possible into a wooden box with an entrance hole at the base. With a little ingenuity a hinged lid can be fitted so that the internal workings of the hive can be inspected. These bees are perfectly harmless and such a hive could even be kept on a school verandah. The Australian Native Bee Research Centre Aussie Bee website has links to suppliers of native bees and bee-keeping equipment.
Native stingless honey bee, Trigona carbonaria
Native stingless honey bee artificial nest
Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.