A hive of honey bees have found a home in the gardens at Old Parliament House for at least three months while the National Capital Authority tests the public's reaction.
A single hive, protected by a white picket fence to minimise the risk to the public, has been installed.
The project aims to support the health of the garden and is the first step towards making bees a permanent fixture of the parliamentary triangle.
National Capital Authority director of estate management Peter Beutel said he was confident the bees would be good for the biodiversity of the garden.
"Bees are an indicator species for the overall health of a garden, we know that, what we don't know is whether the general public will be happy about it," Mr Beutel said.
"When you do these things people come out of the woodwork, they don't like change. There are always plenty of reasons not to try things, but sometimes you just have to have a go."
Bees play an important role in Australia's food production, they produce honey and beeswax, and pollinate up to one third of the nation's food crops.
Although Australia's bee population remains relatively strong, the world-wide bee population has declined by an estimated 30 per cent due to disease, loss of habitat and climate change.
The garden's newest guests are the Italian honey bee breed, the most docile breed of bee. Authorities are eager to see how they fit in among weddings, special events and the school children who attend the popular tourist attraction.
Mr Beutel said he saw the project as a learning experience of biosecurity tensions for both the authorities and for the general public.
"We're starting small and putting in one hive, not a thousand. We're just dipping our toes into the bee world, if it doesn't work, we'll just rip it out," he said.
Local apiarist Jeff Matsen installed the hive. He said he hoped the project would help people understand how important urban gardens were for the bee population.
"The garden is the perfect place for these bees, there are so many wonderful flowering plants so the bees have a substantial food source. It's also a great opportunity to see some good results for the garden," Mr Matsen said.
Over the next three months he will monitor the hive and collect data, then work with the National Capital Authority to roll out the project on a bigger scale.