Most of the 2000 or so native bees are solitary creatures and do not produce honey. It is the trigona which produces honey known as sugarbag.  A rich, dark, pollen-infused honey, it was never commercially viable to be produced. The Aboriginal people, who considered sugarbag a delicacy, tracked the hive by catching a bee then placing a bit of spider web on it, making the insect easier to see to follow.

The honeybee was introduced in 1822. There is some concern these bees are too competitive for the native bees. The native bees are specifically adapted to Australian flowers; the introduced bee not as effective at pollinating. The introduced bee is also in competition with other nectar-eating creatures, like the Rainbow Lorikeet and Sugar Glider.

If you cross paths with an introduced bee, remember these are statistically more dangerous than a shark! Many people are allergic to a bee’s sting and products. The healthy and medicinal properties of honey, pollen and propolis are a contrast to their potential to kill or severely harm.

‘Playing with danger’ may be an issue with Bee in your life. If Bee stings you, you are being warned in a way that’s hard to ignore. On some level you are getting too close to another’s territory or losing your own direction. In giving the warning, the insect inevitably dies, so honour it’s message and look closely at where you could be infringing upon another’s territory instead of walking your own, unique path.

If a native bee appears, there may be a message to be strong and go for what you want or need – do not allow any competition to deter you. In one Dreaming[1], a Bee woman is abducted by a Fly man. He wants her to eat meat, however she prefers the nectar of flowers and in rebellion, states that all their children will too. When she has babies, they are instantly transformed into bees. To this day, they are making the sugarbag their mother so loved.


The native bee may also bring up issues very sweet to the heart, which is a challenge to seek out or actualise.  Bees are the archetypal hard workers, (busy as a bee) and so can point to some groundwork before success is achieved.  They also emphasise working in group endeavours and uniting as a community. Qualities related to co-operation, diplomacy and understanding could be highlighted.

Crucial for the propagation of plants, Bee can also highlight aspects of the food chain, and as a symbol may relate to your role in nurturing the earth.

And as Bees are drawn to beautiful flowers – what draws you? Attraction, fertility, insemination, procreation and gestation are all aspects of a flower’s purpose, which is helped along by the bees; so if you are in a lovely garden be warned:  ‘the birds and the bees’ may be abounding in your trees!

[1]               Bozic, Sreten.  “Aboriginal Myths.”