Aussie Bee > Hive Designs for Australian Stingless Bees

Colonies of Australian Stingless Bees (Tetragonula -- previously called Trigona -- and Austroplebeia) can be successfully kept in hive boxes. Many hive designs are currently in use in Australia for Stingless Bees. Different box sizes and designs suit different bee species and beekeepers use a range of different materials to make their boxes.

The most common hive box used for Stingless Bees in Australia is a small wooden box called an OATH (Original Australian Tetragonula Hive). It is smaller than the box used for commercial Honeybees (Apis mellifera) and it also has a special two-part design that allows the nest to be propagated by a method called splitting.

A stingless bees hive

This is a variant of the Stingless Bee OATH box with a special air-flow roof, designed by Russell Zabel.

Below is a diagram of a basic OATH box design, showing the top half of the box on the left, and the bottom half on the right. The box is usually made from timber that is 25 mm thick, but timber up to 45 mm thick may be used to provide additional insulation for the colony. An additional compartment may be added to the top of an OATH design to aid harvesting of honey.

native bees

A basic OATH box design for Australian Stingless Bees.

Much more information about Stingless Bee hives and about boxing and splitting methods is available in Aussie Bee's ebook series and in Tim Heard's Stingless Bee book.

You can also purchase empty hive boxes suitable for Australian Stingless Bees from many hive sellers around Australia.

Learn more...

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