Stingless bee keeping in Australia: snapshot of an infant industry
Tim A Heard and Anne E Dollin
Results of this survey of the keeping of stingless bees in Australia in 1998/1999 showed that this new activity is growing rapidly. Responses came from over 250 stingless bee keepers with more than 1400 colonies. The industry is concentrated in coastal Queensland with Trigona carbonaria being the most common species kept. Rates of future colony increase expected by survey participants (15-18% per annum) were low compared with increases achieved by experienced beekeepers (30%), but both indicate that the industry could grow rapidly over the next two decades. Enjoyment, conservation, crop pollination (mainly macadamia nut), honey production and hive sales were the major reasons for keeping stingless bees.