Recently we installed boxed hive of TC (Tetragonula Carbonaria) in Paul & Caro's backyard. Before opening their new colony, we noticed many stingless bees already happily pollinating throughout their garden, even at an early time in the morning and at a relatively cool temperature. This indicated to us a strong colony and mature nest was already established nearby. We considered setting up an empty bait box hive, laced with a small amount of resin, pollen and nest structure, to lure the mature colony to 'swarm split' if needed. In under two weeks we were too late.

The bee battle had begun. Two colonies decided to have it out over a death match for hive control.

"Neither the attacker nor defender survives in these one-on-one death battles, during which a carpet of dead and dying bees can be seen on the ground. It is a sheer numbers game as to who wins," Paul Cunningham, Queensland University of Technology.

Flick through Paul Ryan's battle shots...

2 bee tribes locked in mangled sacrificial mess until death.

Bee Warfare on ABC radio 'Bush Telegraph' segment with : Dr Paul Cunningham - Behavioural Ecologist & Dr Toby Smith - Ecologist Researcher