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wooden bee hive sitting under trees

Native Stingless Bee Hive Program

Want to try your hand at Beekeeping? The Native Stingless Bee Hive Program provides an opportunity for Cumberland Council residents to host a Bee Hive in your own backyard or balcony.

Native Bees in Australia

Australia has over 1,500 species of native bee, and the Sydney region is home to about 200 species. Some species live socially, storing very small amounts of honey and pollen in its hive. However most live in solitude and nest in small holes in a variety of materials.

Tetragonula Carbonaria is the only species of social bee native to the Cumberland area. Council’s goal is to provide residents with the opportunity to host one of these hives in their own backyard. Council will provide the hive and on-going support to those who are given a hive to take care of.

Getting Involved

Before a hive will be given to an interested party the following criteria must be assessed for suitability as a ‘host’.

  • Must be a Cumberland Council resident and the hive must reside within Cumberland Council Local Government area.
  • Sites that will be considered include single dwelling or duplex, community gardens or workplace gardens.
  • Council will conduct an assessment of the proposed site. If we are unable to attend the site ourselves you will be required to send photos of your proposed location and fill out the site assessment form.
  • Once an assessment of the site has been undertaken, it may be deemed that the ‘host’ may need to increase vegetation cover on or surrounding the proposed site or provide adequate shading for the hive. Council will provide on-going support in this situation.
  • Once the proposed site has been assessed and is deemed suitable for the program the host will be required to attend a 2 hour workshop. At this workshop you will learn how to take care of your hive and how to split the hive.  In order to be eligible for a hive you will be required to attend this workshop.
  • You will be required to enter into a Host Agreement (PDF, 148.71 KB) which contains the terms and conditions that you need to adhere to in order to keep the hive.
  • After a 12-18 month period and if the hive is healthy enough, the resident will be asked to split the hive and give the new hive to another resident from the waiting list.
  • Once approved for a hive, Council will also ask the host to sign up to the Habitat Stepping Stones program.

Applying for a Hive

If you are interested in joining the program please:

Further Information

For more information on hosting your very own Bee Hive contact Council on 8757 9000.