to attract native bees

Bee A Lifesaver

Knowing how to help bees means you can play a part in the global effort to tackle the decline of bee populations.


Bees are essential to Australia’s food security, agriculture, horticulture and environmental sustainability. Without bees many of our vegetables and fruit would never get to harvest. They play a vital role as pollinators in all gardens including yours.  

The good news is that ANY garden can be a refuge for bees. Whether you have acres of farmland or inches of planter box ~ you can help. The native bee can live happily four levels above ground so even a small balcony in an apartment can be a native bee haven. 

We can all create a bee oasis and help to save these threatened winged creatures.

Unearth how to attract Australian native bees.

How to attract native bees with plants

There are hundreds of plants that are a magnet to native stingless bees so it’s hard to choose which is best. Of course your lifestyle, aspect and exposure to sunlight will impact the success of what you plant. 

Ann recommends the following range plants as they are fairly hardy and go well in many environments through out Australia. 

Natives: Grevilia’s, banksias, callistemon, grasstree, westringia, leptospermums

Vegetables: pidgeon pea, sunflowers, brassica’s (radish, broccoli, rocket, etc) 

Ornamentals: azaleas, agapanthus, gardenia, dahlias, camileas,

Fruit Trees: Passionfruit, citrus, macadamias, dragon fruit, Kakadu Plum

Herbs: Basil, thyme, rosemary, nasturtium, lavender, chives, mint, dandelions. 

Seeds For Bees

At Hive Haven

we are urban beekeepers who love our vegetable, fruit and herb garden.

We’ve made it easy for you to attract stingless native bees to your garden with our special seed mix.  Our Seeds For Bees are tried and tested and have kept our bees productive for many years. 

Each packet contains more than 1000 seeds that provide over six months of continuous pollen and nectar opportunities. Australian stingless native bees particularly love this mix of flowers, herbs and vegetables – and you can eat them too!


Did You Know?

Marigolds are low in pollen and produce a strong odour that bees tend to avoid.


What’s the best plant for the edge of a suburban footpath?

Grevilleas, Lavender, Azaleas, Rosemary, Gardenia, Pidgeon Pea, Lillypilly (dwarf and standard) Dahlias, Native daisies.

How to attract native bees with a mostly shady balcony/deck?

Native Violets, Dianella, Native Ginger, Camelias, Azaleas, Basil and Begonias.

What’s the difference between Australian native bees and stingless native bees?

None – they are often referred to as the same little creatures. Here in Australia we have 11 species of Australian stingless native bees. They are social bees which means they live in a colony and have a queen (that lays the eggs), drones (job is to fertilise the queen) and workers who are sterile females who do all the work. In Australia we also have approximately 1,700 solitary native bees that live alone. They do not have queens or workers and build small nests underground or plant vegetation like hollow reeds and bamboo. 

Do bees drink water?

Yes and No – The European honey bee is reliant on water. They take water back to their hive to cool it. They fan the hive with their tiny wings creating an evaporator cooling effect. The Australian stingless native bee does not have this ability; hence the importance of providing them with a specifically designed hive that alleviates overheating. On really hot days native bees can be seen sucking moisture from the edge of bird baths or small bowls but they usually collect all the moisture they need from flowers. A bird bath or small bowl of water is a great idea to help bees if your area receives little rain.

Two Experts

“We had a nest of native bees in an old tree trunk which was about to fall down. It was great to watch these two experts rescue the bees and put them into the hive for us. Great service and advice.” 

Judy Tomlinson