Parliament House is the custodian of two hives of native stingless bees. These hives are located at the front of Parliament House and can be viewed by visitors. During business hours, visitors are welcome to walk inside the front gates of Parliament House and observe the hives up-close. These tiny black bees are entirely safe and harmless – they do not sting.
On 19 July 2016, the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Peter Wellington MP, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Queensland Parliament, the Queensland University of Technology and Dr Tim Heard of Sugarbag Bees which outlined the parliament being the custodian of these two hives.
As part of this Memorandum of Understanding, QUT staff and students will have access to the hives to further their bee-related research. At the formal launch of the hives on 15 September 2016, Speaker Wellington outlined the role of native bees in pollinating plants and stated their importance to our environment in general.
The species of bees in the hives at Parliament House are Tetragonula hockingsi and Tertragonula carbonaria.