2 September, 2019 11:21
Bob the Bee Man, Michelle Cull, water meter box
Queensland Urban Utilities has issued a springtime warning that bees are on the swarm and could be headed to a water meter box near you.

Native Australian bees are setting up colonies in warm, dark meter boxes, making it sticky business for water meter readers.

Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said hundreds of hives are found each year, with three to five thousand bees being removed from each colony.

“Water meter boxes are dark and have a stable temperature – making them the perfect hive for bees to nest and make honey,” she said.

“They’re native stingless bees, but they can swarm you when disturbed and give a nasty bite so it’s a good idea not to try and remove them yourself.

“If you come across bees in your water meter box, get in touch with us so we can send a beekeeper out to relocate them.”

One of those beekeepers is Bob “the Bee Man” Luttrell, who gets a real buzz out of rescuing bees from all over Brisbane.

“Native Australian stingless bees are under threat from human development,” said Mr Luttrell.

“They are vital pollinators and are really important to the ecosystem, so I’d urge people not to harm them.

“During the spring and summer months native bees like to build new hives – a favourite spot being the small black box that covers the water meter on the footpath.”

Bob the Bee Man has about five million native bees that call his Samford Valley property home.

“To report bees in your meter box and avoid a sticky situation, call us on 13 26 57 or contact us via the enquiry form on our website or our social media channels,” said Ms Cull.

It doesn’t cost customers anything to have a beekeeper attend and remove the bees.

About Queensland Urban Utilities
Established on July 1, 2010, Queensland Urban Utilities is one of the largest water distributor-retailers in Australia, providing water and sewerage services to more than 1.4 million residents across Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset local authority areas. We are upgrading and improving the reliability of our infrastructure by investing $2.76 billion in a 10-year capital works program. Our service territory covers 14,384 square kilometres and we employ around 1,100 people.