I acknowledge & respect the traditional owners of Australia and pay respect to the Elders past, future & present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have intimate cultural, historical, medicinal and spiritual knowledge of Sugarbag Bees.
Native stingless bees have great potential as pollinators of fruit trees and some vegetables, small amounts of native bee honey, and as a source of propolis. In tropical and subtropical areas, stingless bees have been proven to be successful pollinators of lychee, avocado, mango, macadamia, blueberry and so on. In some fruit tree species, our native bee may be a better pollinator choice than European honey bees.
The honey produced from stingless bees has unique flavor profiles. Austroplebeia honey is sweet and mellow. Tetragonula honey has citrus zest characteristics. Unique, and a little bit sweet & sour. There have also been some scientific studies which indicate that native bee honey might have antibacterial properties, and health benefits as well.
Propolis is that interesting brown mixture of tree resins and bees’ wax. European honey bees do not make much of this, but it is traditionally recognized for its medicinal and antibacterial properties. Stingless bees (unlike honey bees) collect large amounts of tree resins, and use propolis extensively in the hive. Stingless bee hives therefore, have great potential as a source of propolis for traditional uses.
Check out Dean's native bee book, which looks in depth at native bee honey.