Products

Sugarbag bees produces and sells a range of stingless bee keeping products including a hive stocked with bees, empty hive boxes, roofs and mounts for hives, tools and propolis. See below for a description of these products. (All prices include GST)

Hive Stocked With Bees
$550

Current wait time for stocked hives: ~10 weeks

WINTER CUTOFF FOR NSW/MARGINAL HIVES. PLEASE NOTE: Any new orders for stocked hives to be sent to NSW or marginal areas will be added to the wait list and sent in spring.

Want to keep your own stingless bees? You can start by finding your own nest and transferring it to a box. Or you can take an easy path and buy your first hive.

Pricing

We sell Honey OATH hives stocked with a strong nucleus of bees for $550 each. This price includes a complimentary metal roof. Our hives have a clear brood excluder that is taped over, confining the bees to the bottom two boxes to allow for wonderful temporary viewing opportunities. We sell two bee species, see details below.

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Current wait time for stocked hives: ~10 weeks

WINTER CUTOFF FOR NSW/MARGINAL HIVES. PLEASE NOTE: Any new orders for stocked hives to be sent to NSW or marginal areas will be added to the wait list and sent in spring.

Want to keep your own stingless bees? You can start by finding your own nest and transferring it to a box. Or you can take an easy path and buy your first hive.

Pricing

We sell Honey OATH hives stocked with a strong nucleus of bees for $550 each. This price includes a complimentary metal roof. Our hives have a clear brood excluder that is taped over, confining the bees to the bottom two boxes to allow for wonderful temporary viewing opportunities. We sell two bee species, see details below.

For placing an order to purchase a stocked hive please read. For local pickup, we usually have hives and hive boxes available for sale at short notice (dependent on wait list time, see above). For orders outside the Brisbane region with no wait list, we may need up to 6 weeks to prepare a stocked hive for postage. When mailing hives, we charge a postage and handling fee of $50 for Qld or $100 for NSW. Various payment options are available.

Please note - we do not send our bees to Mackay and northwards, as we wish to avoid genetic pollution between two distinct populations of hockingsi bees

In preparing for the arrival of your recently purchased hive, or while considering whether to buy a hive, there are a few important factors to consider. These include:

Our GUARANTEE

We guarantee the survival of hives for one year as long as they are treated properly. If your hive dies, we will replace it, free of charge, upon return of the dead hive. Note that we cannot guarantee a hive that experiences temperatures of greater than 42°C, less than 0°C, receives direct sun after 10 am in summer, is kept outside their natural geographical range, is opened, is split, or has honey extracted.

Our BOXES

See the product page for an in-depth description of our honey OATH hives, https://shop.sugarbag.net/products/honey-oath-design. We only sell pine honey OATH hives stocked with bees. A closure is included with your stocked hive purchase as this is how we keep the bees inside, ready for you to release at home.

Which species?

We sell two Australian native social stingless bee species, Tetragonula carbonaria and Tetragonula hockingsi. Carbonaria naturally occurs in coastal areas between Nowra NSW and Bundaberg Qld. This is the most cold tolerant species and can survive in many parts of NSW, including all coastal areas from Nowra north. However as you move inland from the coast and the moderating influence of the ocean, the climate becomes less favourable. This is especially true where you gain altitude. So Canberra and Katoomba are definitely not suitable. Areas where you can grow bananas perennially and they bear fruit, may also be suitable to keep carbonaria. If you get heavy frosts, it may not be suitable. If just an occasional frost, then it could be OK. Remember, they are really a subtropical species. In cooler areas hives need to be carefully sited and managed. Harvesting honey from hives in these areas may not be possible. These bees will not fly below 18°C and they need their stored food to survive through winter. It also may never be possible to propagate your hive in these areas. Certainly people do divide hives and extract honey in Sydney, but usually close to the coast where the extremes of low and high temperature are moderated. If purchasing a hive for location is such areas, we would not be able to offer our usual guarantee if they succumbed to cold in the winter.

We also have hives of Tetragonula hockingsi available for sale. This species is well suited to warm suburban areas of Queensland from around Logan and northwards.


The Australian Native Bee Book
$35

The Australian Native Bee Book describes native bees generally and provides a complete guide to keeping Australian native stingless bees. It is richly illustrated with over 500 photos, drawings and charts to increase accessibility and aid learning. It is written by an expert who has spent his lifetime intimately engaged with these unique creatures.

Multi-award winner:
- Gold Medal Winner Apimondia World Beekeeping Award (2017)
- Winner of Australian Book Industry Award (2017)
- Winner of Whitley Award for Australasian Zoological Literature (2016)

Visit the Native Bee Book website for more details, stockists and sneak peaks

Empty Bee Hives

We sell a range of empty hive boxes: Honey OATH (Original Australian Trigona hive), Farm OATH, hardwood OATH, Mini OATH, Mini Honey OATH, Vertical Observation Hive. We only sell pine honey OATH hives stocked with bees, see product above.

All hive boxes are professionally made, built of 25 mm thick hoop pine or plywood, nailed and glued, and painted (three coats). They are guaranteed to fit together precisely (important for sealing out natural enemies and climatic extremes), and to last for many years. The bottom of the mid section (where you split a hive) has built-in bars to prevent slumping after a split and to allow a clean split. The brood excluder is clear. The sections are held together with plastic strapping. The hives have short metal feet and a second hole for ventilation. Strapping is included in the price. This price does NOT include a metal roof which we recommend if you plan to keep the hive exposed to the elements.

These products are available for collection from 473 Montague Rd, West End. For delivery, add about $25 for P&H.

$175
Honey OATH Hive

This is our most common hive and the one we recommend for most purposes.

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This is our most common hive and the one we recommend for most purposes.

Compared with a standard OATH, the honey OATH has an extra compartment on top, called a honey super which allows you to remove honey with minimal disruption to the nest. Honey OATHs are also just as suitable as standard OATHs for splitting or pollination. We recommend honey OATHs even if you do not intend to extract honey, as they have better insulation on the top, an optional storage area and so are generally better homes for the bees. The brood excluder is clear - when transferring, splitting or educting into this empty honey OATH hive you may wish to tape over the gap at the back of the excluder to allow wonderful observation opportunities. When the box is looking full, remove the tape to allow the bees access into the honey super. Replace the honey super firmly and leave in place permanently for the bees to deposit extra food stores into.

We recommend this box to divide any standard OATH hive which has the same footprint dimensions (280 x 200 mm). Some boxes use thinner or thicker wall material so the internal dimensions may differ, but this should not be a problem. Approximate internal volume: 8.5 Litres. 4.5kg empty.

Please note: Heavy Shipping orders can only be sent to a street address (not PO Box) - sorry for any inconvenience

$140
Farm OATH hive

Farm OATH hives well insulated, durable, termite and weather proof, light weight and compact PVC, for a tough working life on farms.

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Our Farm OATH hives are designed for a tough working life on farms, so are well insulated, durable, termite and weather proof, light weight and compact. They are made of 24 mm thick foamed PVC sheet walls. Internal condensation is managed by a 50 mm hole drilled in the bottom of the box and covered it with a sheet of timber which absorbs moisture and allows it to evaporate off. Two section, n honey super. Volume 7 L. Weight 3.5 kg. Suitable for T. carbonaria, T. hockingsi, A. symei and A. australis species. Metal roof and picket mount are not included in price but available separately.

$195
Hardwood OATH hive

Professionally built of a mix of local hardwood timber, 25 mm thick. Multipurpose OATH design hive box made of three sections.

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Professionally built of a mix of local hardwood timber, untreated and unpainted, 25 mm thick. Multipurpose OATH design hive box made of three sections, for both propagation and honey extraction. Weigh 9 kg empty, double that of an equivalent pine box. Include split bars and clear plastic brood excluder. Metal roof and metal strap not included but available separately.

$165
Mini OATH Hive

The mini OATH suits species with naturally smaller nests such as australis, clypearis, mellipes, etc.

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The mini OATH suits species with naturally smaller nests such as australis, clypearis, mellipes, etc...

Like the normal size OATHs, the Mini OATHs come in both a two section standard with observation window and a three section honey version.

The shorter and flatter size reduces the volume. The internal volume of a two-section mini OATH and a three-section mini Honey OATH is 3 litres or 4 litres respectively, which is slightly less than half the internal volume of a normal hive.

Please note: Heavy Shipping orders can only be sent to a street address (not PO Box) - sorry for any inconvenience

$300
Vertical Observation Hive

Vertical Observation Hive has two parallel clear acrylic side walls give you a great view of all parts of the colony. Hive sold empty, needs to be stocked with bees.

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Our new Vertical Observation Hive is now tested and works well, providing both great observation opportunities, and a good home for stingless bees (at least carbonaria; we have not yet completed a test of this design for other species). The two parallel clear acrylic side walls give you a great view of all parts of the colony, including brood, food pots and the bee behaviour. The space between the walls is only 40 mm wide. Volume: 5 L. External dimensions: c. 500 x 400 x 90 mm. We are currently selling only empty hives, it’s your job to stock it with a colony of bees.

$250
Trap hive

A hive empty of bees but containing propolis structures and hive smell to make them attractive to an invading swarm.

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We try to keep a small stock of trap hives for customers wishing to trap an invading swarm. Read about fighting swarms HERE. Read how to trap a fighting swarm HERE. Trap hives work best if they have plenty of hive smell and propolis structures. We create them by budding an empty recycled standard honey OATH to a strong mother hive for a period until the mother hive builds the structures that will make the hive more attractive to an invading swarm. The image shows inside of the bottom box of one trap hive, but these wonderful products of swarm intelligence vary enormously.

Hive Accessories

$15
Metal Roof

Just like a wooden house, a wooden hive exposed to the elements needs a protective roof.

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Just like a wooden house, a wooden hive exposed to the elements needs a protective roof. We sell an effective metal roof that extends over the front and back of the hive. It grips onto the hive by its own tension.

$60
Metal Stand

Our welded and galvanized hive stand makes a durable hive stand. We have both 300mm and 600mm tall stands in stock.

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Our welded and galvanized hive stand makes a durable hive stand. Drive the stand into the ground with a mallet. Place the hive on top. Fasten the hive and roof to the base using a metal emlock strap (please contact us to purchase a metal emlock strap). These stands suit hives of OATH dimensions, 200x280.

We currently have both 300mm and 600mm tall stands in stock. Please contact us to confirm a size to collect.

Please note - only 300mm stands can be sent by post. If you select "shipping" for your order we will automatically include the 300mm stand.

$60
Picket hive mount

Unit for mounting an OATH hive on a steel picket. Hot dip galvanized for long life.

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This unit allows you to easily mount your OATH hive on top of a steel picket (Y / star picket). The mount can be tightened onto the picket and the hive screwed or strapped to the mount. Hot dip galvanized for long life. Also available in a H-shape version made from Duragal steel with Coldgal zinc protection to welded areas.

$50
Hive Shelf

Shelf to mount your hive on a wall or post.

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Shelf to mount your hive on a wall or post. Comes in 3 variations. The painted plywood unit has a back plate and side braces ($50). The metal units come in two variations, one perpendicular to the mount and the other parallel (both $60) each). They are made from Duragal steel with Coldgal zinc protection to welded areas. Comes with two long coach screws to attach it to a wall. For added stability, you can use a small screw to secure the hive to the shelf.

$100
Hive security cage

Use this sturdy galvanized cage to keep your hive safe in positions where security is a concern

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Many schools, gardens and other public spaces wish to host a stingless bee hive, but risk of theft is a concern. Our new security cage is designed to be screwed into an existing wall or post. The hive is inserted in the front which then covers the screws to prevent their removal. The vertical bar at the front is secured with a padlock (screws and padlocks not included). You can attach a roof over the top of the cage to protect your hive (roof not included). Hot-dip galvanized. It can be sent in the mail.

$7
Propolis

Propolis is the nest-building material of Australian native stingless bees. Indigenous Australian's collected it from nests and used it for all kinds of traditional purposes, including didgeridoo mouthpieces.

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Propolis from stingless bees is the authentic didgeridoo mouthpiece.

What is it?

Propolis is the nest-building material of Australian native stingless bees. Indigenous Australian's collected it from nests and used it for all kinds of traditional purposes, including didgeridoo mouthpieces.

How do you use it?

Don’t ask me; you’re the didgeridoo expert; I just collect the stuff! But here’s a tip: it softens with heat, so drop it in warm water, put it in the sun, or whatever, and then you should be able to work it easily into the shape you desire. Another tip: it hardens with age (but it never really sets and can melt on a very hot day so don’t leave it in your car in the sun on a hot day or your mouthpiece will transform itself to a horrible sticky mess on your carpet). But here’s the best tip of all, when handling it, wet your hands, it will make the job a lot easier.

Where do we get it?

We harvest the propolis sustainably from native bees in artificial wooden hives. The colony is not harmed. Only small amounts of propolis are produced, about 200g per hive per year.

To get technical

Propolis is a mixture of wax and resin. Wax is from glands on the bee’s body and is a yellow soft material. Resin is produced by plants and is dark sticky stuff that hardens with age. The bees collect resin from plants, take it back to the nest, mix it with wax and use it to make their nest.

Propolis Prices

Block of propolis (12 g, enough for one or two mouthpieces) AU$7.

Bulk purchase: $500 per kilogram.

For overseas customers, please contact us for a postage price.

LIMIT OF 5 PIECES PER CUSTOMER PER ORDER

$10
Hive Tool

The American hive tool is ideal for separating hive sections and scrapping propolis.

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The American hive tool is ideal for separating hive sections and scrapping propolis.

$50
Bed of Nails

The tool, which resembles a miniature bed of nails is used to pierce the honey pots to extract honey.

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The tool, which resembles a miniature bed of nails is used to pierce the honey pots to extract honey.

$75
Honey extraction kit

All you need to extract honey including hive tool, bed of nails, collecting container, storing container.

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This kit is all you need to start extraction honey from your Honey OATH. It includes a hive tool, bed of nails, container for collecting the draining honey, a 500 ml PET container and new straps and buckles for securing the hive closed after opening.

$475
Hive communal shelter

This communal shelter holds 12 hives on two shelves protected by a sheet metal roof. it is sold in a flat un-assembled form. it is easily transported and assembled on location. The legs are 4 Y-pickets driven into the ground and the shelves and roof sections secured by tightening the fasteners, everything included.

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This communal shelter holds 12 hives on two shelves protected by a sheet metal roof. it is sold in a flat un-assembled form. it is easily transported and assembled on location. The legs are 4 Y-pickets driven into the ground and the shelves and roof sections secured by tightening the fasteners, everything included.

$15
Mini Em-lock

A strong and durable galvanized steel locking system, easy to open and close. Compatible with many hive setups, particularly metal stands.

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A strong and durable galvanized steel locking system, easy to open and close. Compatible with many hive setups, particularly metal stands.

$3
Closure

This hive entrance closure allows ventilation during periods of hive closure. Fits snugly into 13mm hole.

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This hive entrance closure allows ventilation during periods of hive closure. Fits snugly into 13mm hole.

$20
Native Stingless Bee signage

Ideal for public spaces, schools and centres to provide basic education and awareness of native stingless bees.

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Want to shout the praises of native stingless bees to the world? We have a variety of simple signage available. Ideal for public spaces, schools and centres to provide basic education and awareness of native stingless bees.

Honey
$50

PRODUCT NOT AVAILABLE

Sorry but we are not producing Sugarbag honey until further notice. We are focussing on producing more hives, both for sale and to build up numbers. While we are doing this, we cannot produce honey. We apologise for any disappointment, and will advise on our Facebook page if we intend to commence honey production.

Sugarbag is honey made by Australian native stingless bees. Normal honey is made by honey bees introduced from Europe. Both types of honey are a natural sweet substance originating from the nectar of flowers, which bees collect and transform. But sugarbag has its own special flavour. Try it drizzled over vanilla ice cream or other dessert. Only tiny amounts of sugarbag are produced, less than 1 kg per hive per year and so it is a special product, to be savoured and relished. The $50 jar contains 200 ml.

read more

PRODUCT NOT AVAILABLE

Sorry but we are not producing Sugarbag honey until further notice. We are focussing on producing more hives, both for sale and to build up numbers. While we are doing this, we cannot produce honey. We apologise for any disappointment, and will advise on our Facebook page if we intend to commence honey production in the future.

Sugarbag is honey made by Australian native stingless bees. Normal honey is made by honey bees introduced from Europe. Both types of honey are a natural sweet substance originating from the nectar of flowers, which bees collect and transform. But sugarbag has its own special flavour. Try it drizzled over vanilla ice cream or other dessert. Only tiny amounts of sugarbag are produced, less than 1 kg per hive per year and so it is a special product, to be savoured and relished.

Sugarbag was, and continues to be, a highly prized food for Indigenous Australians who hunted it from wild nests; it’s real bush tucker. Read an extract from The Native Bee Book about indigenous peoples and stingless bees.

Our hive designs that allow us to extract honey sustainably, without harming the colony. Extracting honey from a hive with a dedicated honey section is simple: just pry, pierce, drain and strain. To use this method, you need a hive that has a section on top for storing the honey (see our honey OATH design). First, remove the honey section by loosening it with a hive tool or other lever and prying it open. Then invert the honey section so that the open side faces up, and pierce the honey pots. I use a tool that resembles a miniature bed of nails to do this. Next turn the honey section over onto a plastic container to catch the tide of liquid gold that issues forth. Allow the honey to drain for at least five minutes. After the honey section has fully drained, put it back on top of the hive. Back home in your kitchen, you can strain the honey again using a finer gauze to filter out any impurities.

The honey pots damaged during honey extraction will be quickly rebuilt. When the hive has regained weight, you can repeat the extraction procedure and you will find the honey pots rebuilt as good as new.