Sugarbag bees offers a range of stingless bee-keeping services. (All prices include GST)

If you would like to book one of our services below please contact us at and be sure to include your location and the weight of your hive.

Scheduling will be affected by the weather conditions.

Dividing Hives

In the Brisbane area, we offer a service of dividing hives for a fee of $95 per hour (door-to-door, includes travel to and from Norman Park), plus the price of a new empty hive for the division ($180) and any costs of other optional materials (see products page for details of mounting options and prices). This service (option 3 below) can be provided for any hive that is of OATH dimensions, regardless of where you initially purchased it from. See the resources page to check the footprint.

Hive buy backs and purchases

We offer a number of optional services for splitting and buying back hives if you have purchased your original colony from us. When a stingless bee colony has been in a box for a year or more, it becomes possible to split off a daughter colony from it. After a year or more of owning a hive, some of the people we sell hives to split their colony into two. Others are happy to simply maintain their single hive and so don’t ever split it.

If you purchased a hive from us in the past and haven’t split it already (or if you did so over 12 months ago and your hive weighs more than 7.5kg), you might be interested in our proposal of one of the following options for you to sell bees back to us:

  • Option 1: Half colony buy back + -

    We will come and split your hive, and then buy from you the daughter colony which will be created. For this we will pay you $150. There will be no expenses for you, as we will provide the empty box required for the split. You will be left with one colony as you had before and $150, and we will take one colony away. Hives must weigh at least 7.5kg.

    Please note: offer subject to scheduling and location of hive. Must be original Sugarbag Bees hive. Splits are optional and not required for the health of the colony, so are performed at your discretion and not guaranteed.

  • Option 2: Full colony buy back + -

    If you have decided stingless bee keeping is not for you, and you are actually not really interested in keeping your bees anymore, then we would like to buy your existing hive back from you for $450. This option requires that you have not split your hive in the last 12 months, it is healthy and busy, >7.5kg and is a complete Sugarbag Bees hive. This price is delivered to us in Norman Park, QLD.

    Please note: offer subject to inspection of hive. Must be original Sugarbag Bees hive.

  • Option 3: Split hives for a fee + -

    We will come and split your hive for you so that you can turn one colony into two. You will keep both the original colony and the new daughter colony. Empty honey OATH boxes are $180, and we can bring these along with us. Like those above, this option requires that your colony has not been split in at least the last 12 months and exceeds 7.5kg in weight. We offer splitting services for $95 per hour (door-to-door, includes travel to and from Norman Park). E.g. if you are located 20 minutes of Norman Park and have one hive to split, the service will cost about $250-$270 (includes empty box). We can split multiple hives in one service.

    We can also help you set up an eduction from your full hive.

    Please note: if your hive is not from Sugarbag Bees, please check it matches our box dimensions before booking - see the Resources page. Splits are optional and not required for the health of the colony, so are performed at your discretion and not guaranteed.

  • Option 4: Split hives in exchange for daughter colonies + -

    We will bring an empty honey OATH box and will split your existing hive for you, leaving you with two hives. We will do this free of charge, but will come back again ~12 months later and split both hives again. From this second round of splits we will take away both new daughter colonies, and you will be left with the two mother colonies. With this option you will end up with two hives to keep, and we will take two hives away. There is no cost to you for the hive box or labour, but any accessories must be purchased. Hives must weigh at least 7.5kg.

    Alternatively - if you have two Sugarbag Bees hives and both are ready to divide, we would accept one daughter split as payment on the day. This would take you from two to three hives at no cost to you.

    Please note: offer subject to scheduling and location of hive. Hives must be kept at same property until reclaim ~12 months later and not further divided, extracted or moved in this time until the owed hives have been provided. Should you wish to exit the arrangement you must pay for the goods and services rendered. Must be original Sugarbag Bees hive. Splits are optional and not required for the health of the colony, so are performed at your discretion and not guaranteed.

  • Option 5: Supply box for DIY hive splitting + -

    If you would like to split your hive and you're confident that you can do it yourself, then we can sell you a new box so that you can do so for $180 (see our Products page).

    If one of these options appeals to you please contact us, and we can make arrangements to get started. We would welcome you to this partnership in which you become an urban bee farmer.

  • Option 6: Honey extraction + -

    If you would like to extract honey from your Sugarbag Bees hive, we can come and harvest honey for you for a labour fee of $95 per hour (includes travel). Your hive must weigh at least 9kg.

    We do not recommend dividing your hive and extracting at the same time.

Stingless bee nest removals and rescues

If you have a stingless bee colony that you would like removed or rescued in the Brisbane region, please contact us. We offer these services for free, if we take the colony. If you would like to keep the bees we can offer you options for buying the empty honey OATH hive box ($180) and the labour required for the colony transfer ($95/h door-to-door, including travel). Please note this is not a guaranteed service and should be undertaken in good weather with a sizable colony - we request a photo of the nest prior to booking.

Transfer services require the transferred colony to remain in the new hive box at the transfer site until dark to capture as many bees as possible. After this, the hive box can be moved either 1m per day, or closed an moved more than 1km for a 3 week interim period -

School Visits

We conduct school visits, which includes a presentation to the students about native bees. If you are purchasing a hive, we can also help you to set up the new hive in the school grounds. If the school already has a resident stingless bee hive we can divide it. We do this for a fee of $95 per hour ( door-to-door, including travel time from Norman Park), plus the price of a new empty hive for the division ($180). Please contact us if you would like to arrange a school visit.

Do I need to split my hive or have honey extracted?

You do not need to split your hive. If it lives in a suitable habitat, it will put on weight and eventually fill the box. At this stage it may attempt to reproduce naturally by establishing a daughter colony in a new location. The mother colony will always remain in the original location. You will NOT see a swarm of bees leaving a hive as you do for honey bees. You may see some bees leaving the colony with materials on their pollen baskets. Otherwise the colony will appear normal. The only consequence of not dividing your hive is that you lose an opportunity to create a new colony. There is some risk involved in duplicating colonies as the boxes need to be opened and the contents will be halved. Splitting is an optional service, so not covered by a guarantee, but we are experienced and use quality products - please let us know if you had any concerns prior to booking your service. You can read more about risks, pests, duplication and managing your hive in The Australian Native Bee Book,