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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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Trigonid Bees

Photo: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey
BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Family Trigonidae

Other Names: Native Bees, Sweat Bees, Sugarbags, Stingless Bees

  • Trigonid are usually small dark insects that many people presume are some sort of fly.
  • Trigonids are bees, and as such, still collect nectar from flowers.
  • They often appear colourful, but closer inspection reveals this to be pollen collected on the body. These bees are stingless and only annoy humans when drinking sweat of their bodies, and giving rise to one of the common names of sweat bees'.
  • Trigonids are found in the rainforests of the southern continents.
  • They usually make wax nests in tree hollows.
  • In South-east Asia, their nests are more obvious as they often build funnel entrances, which are then sealed up every night.
  • The Aboriginal people searched for the nests to obtain honey and referred to them as `sugarbags'.
  • The watery honey was also an important food source for early European colonists.

Script and Photo: Courtesy of  Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tablelands
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
PH & Fax: 07 4095 3754 International: 61 7 4095 3754

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