Sweat Bees – Nomia and Lipotriches

These buzz pollinators are in the Halictidae family. All of the Halictidae bees are said to be attracted to perspiration, explaining the common name of “Sweat Bee”. Unlike other buzz pollinators discussed in this blog, bees in the Nomia genus have hard enamel-like bands rather than hairs. The hairier bees in the Lipotriches genus usedContinue reading “Sweat Bees – Nomia and Lipotriches”

The Green and Golden Amegilla aeruginosa

At first sight in my new Far North Queensland garden I was shocked by this bee. It had all the hallmarks of Amegilla but no bands like Blue-banded Bees and it wasn’t a Teddy Bear Bee. Kit Prendergast, an Australian scientist who researches bees, came to the rescue with an identification. Despite being first describedContinue reading “The Green and Golden Amegilla aeruginosa”

Tiny Buzz – Homalictus Bees

Most of the bees in this subgenus (of genus Lassioglossum) are less than 8mm long. The one in the feature photo (Homalictus urbanus) is between 4 and 5mm long! She is foraging from a tiny Commelina flower. They have relatively short tongues so prefer open “flat” flowers where it’s easy to reach pollen and nectar.Continue reading “Tiny Buzz – Homalictus Bees”

Australia’s Cuckoo Bees

These criminals of the bee world are deceptively beautiful. They buzz through the garden, bright colours or patterns grabbing the attention of the attentive gardener, but they work against other bee beauties. They are also known as “Cloak and Dagger Bees”. Coelioxys species use the newly built nests of Megachile species to lay their ownContinue reading “Australia’s Cuckoo Bees”

Australian Mellitidia

Who will solve the Mystery of the Australian Mellitidia? Just look at that gorgeous bee! She’s small, gold and awfully busy. She doesn’t care that “busy” is a bee stereotype. She has more important things to worry about. She’s probably nesting in ground burrows. From my observations, she appears to be a buzz pollinator. SheContinue reading “Australian Mellitidia”

Australia’s Largest Bee – The Great Carpenter

Scientific Name: Xylocopa (genus) She sounds like a jet engine in comparison to other buzz pollinators. He probably does too, but I’m yet to find a male! At around one inch or two and a half centimetres long, the Great Carpenter Bee is Australia’s largest bee and yes, they are capable of stinging. They don’tContinue reading “Australia’s Largest Bee – The Great Carpenter”

Masked Bees – Hylaeus Bees

Hylaeine Bees are found on EVERY continent except Antarctica. They have facial markings that resemble the emarginate eyes of wasps. More than 200 species are distributed throughout Australia. The facial markers that earn them the “masked” label are usually more elaborate in males. They usually nest in holes in wood, made and abandoned by borers.Continue reading “Masked Bees – Hylaeus Bees”

Blue-banded Bees

Despite being called “Blue-banded Bees”, many banded Amegilla species are not blue at all but range from blue to white and possibly green! I have heard it said that they are Australia’s most photographed bee and it’s no surprise! With their amazing eyes, iridescent bands and alluring buzz they make great subjects. The iridescent bandsContinue reading “Blue-banded Bees”