Aussie stingless bees

From the hollow trees in their native home
them old fellows cut the honeycomb.
On honey and little white grubs they fed,
'cause them young bees was blackfeller's bread.
That's why they was so mighty and strong
in their native home in Currarong.
An' them old fellers' drink was honey-bul;
honey and water, a coolamon full.
Naked through the bush they went,
an' never knew what sickness meant,
them native bees could do you no harm,

they'd crawl all over your honey-smeared arm.

Bees by Roland Edward Robinson  (12 June 1912 – 8 February 1992)
an Australian poet and writer.
Read full poem at
In the poem:
old fellows meant aborigines in the past
blackfeller's bread means the aborigines ate the bees.
Currarong is the name of an Australian town at Jervis Bay, NSW, south of Sydney.
a coolamon is a wooden dish, used by Aboriginal women to carry water, bush tucker or a baby.

A Stingless bee, Meliponula ferruginea
photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Australia has around 12 species of native bees that live in hives and which do not sting! They are small (about 3-5 mm in length), compact, dark-coloured bees.

Stingless Australian bees are mainly found in the northern and eastern areas of Australia.

More at Queensland Museum website

Read more about Australia's history at Bushrangers.

This post linked at Worldwide Culture Swap


Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

I just love a native bee,thanks for sharing the great poem.

Georgie said...

You are welcome - thanks for dropping by.