.      Temp: 25.0°C (+3.5 °C Last Hour)       Humidity: 47%        Pressure: 1010.07 mb (Falling)      Wind Sp: 0.0 kph      Wind Dir: ---      Rain Today: 0.0 mm      Cloudbase: 1508 m

Whilst most weather webcams show the sky or horizon, this is a weather webcam with a twist. Below is a LIVE stream from a hive of the Australian native stingless bee species, Tetragonula carbonaria (Tc). The foraging habits of these fascinating little guys (girls mainly) depends on three things, the time of day, the ambient temperature and whether it's raining or not. Although not your typical weather webcam, this native bee webcam has been added as a bit of fun. Requires Microsoft Silverlight
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** Camera only operates during daylight hours **

It's morning at the hive and it's 25.0°C. It's not raining at the moment.

(These are ideal conditions for laying, foraging, cleaning and defending)
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These tiny, industrious, little black bees have no sting and are harmless. Not only do they pollinate our native plants, they are also great pollinators of non-natives like fruit trees and veggies. This hive is near our veggie garden and under a patio cover out of any direct weather.


Information about Australian Native Stingless Bees

• There are over 1600 species of native bees in Australia and most are solitary bees. There are only 10 species of social native bees which live in hives, make honey and are stingless.

• In Australia, they are found mainly in warm areas in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

• Each hive has a queen, drones and thousands of sterile workers.

• In their natural environment, this species builds nests in tree cavities and hollow logs. In urban areas they have been found in old machinery, retaining walls, large pot plants and they seem particularly fond of water meter boxes.

• These bees will travel up to 500 meters but prefer to forage within about 100m of their hive. By contrast, honeybees will forage out to around 5km.

• Often caled 'Sugarbag' honey, Australian stingless bees only store about 1 kg of honey per year in their hives. In comparison, a hive of European honeybees can produce around 70 to 100 kg of honey.

• 'Sugarbag' honey has the consistency of maple syrup and has a distinctive bush taste - sweet and sour and tangy with a hint of citrus. The taste comes from plant resins which the bees use to build their hives and honey pots. It's pretty good on ice cream.


Used with kind permission from Eco Films Australia
• Aborigines traditionally harvested Tc nests for their honey. To locate a hive, they would catch this tiny bee and tie a white feather to its leg with a hair, and then follow the feather as the bee went back to the hive.

• Stingless bees have been successfully used to pollinate commercial crops of watermelons, avocados, lychees and macadamias. Some in the horticultural industry place hives inside greenhouses to pollinate crops and flowers.

• Only in the last 30 years or so have stingless bees been successfully kept as 'pets' in specially constructed boxed hives. Each spring, these hives can be 'split' to create a second hive.

• Unlike a honey bee queen, a laying stingless queen never flies again and spends her entire life in the hive. As a result, a Tc colony will last for decades with countless generations of bees inhabiting the same hive.

• Depending on the hive's requirements, forages return with food stores such as pollen (protein) and nectar (carbohydrates). They also collect resin from trees which is mixed with wax and this forms the hive structure. The pollen and resin is carried on their back legs.



All of our native stingless bees are under threat from human development. Wild colonies are declining dramatically because of land clearing, logging etc. Urbanisation is destroying their natural habitat and leaving them nowhere to establish new hives. If you want to help conserve these little Aussie battlers, consider buying a hive and placing it in your yard. Like all of us here at Brisbane LIVE Weather, you'll soon be hooked.

For more information about these bees (or any other Australian native bee species) visit these other great websites.


EarthCam Top 10 Winner
   6.00 am

   5.35 pm

These bees won't forage when it's night time, when it's below 18°C or when it's raining


At around 18°C you may see them congregate around the hive entrance. Guard bees will emerge to patrol and survey the immediate area


At around 19°C scouts fly off in search of sources of pollen, nectar and resin. Foragers soon follow


At 22°C cleaner bees will be removing hive waste, guards bees will be patrolling the area and checking out the foragers arriving back at the hive


Above 25°C the bees should be hard at work foraging, housekeeping, defending & laying down resin near the entrance


Temps above 39°C will stress the colony. Inside, the bees will be actively cooling the hive by lining up and fanning their wings

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