Read this before you start building a nest box for your local birds.
Springtails look like busy little cartoon aliens and I’m here for it. Look at those miniature ones interacting with each other. What is going on over there?
In a world-first, scientists have documented tool use for self care in keas.
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Green and Gold Nomia Bee Lipotriches (Austronomia) australica
One of the first native bees that I ever photographed this green and gold nomia bee is one of those that really kicked off my passion for our native pollinators.
Male Leafcutter Bee Megachile (Rhodomegachile) abdominale
Male leafcutter bees often have highly modified forelegs that are by and large designed for use during mating. Males will often rob their forelegs over the eyes of the female while mating; this is possibly used for species recognition. In this species, the forelegs are unusually long.
Colletis Bee Palaeorhiza cnemidorhiza parallela
Caught in Rollingstone, Queensland this amazing colletid stunned me with its flambouyant colouration – I was particularly excited to see this individual through my camera!
Red Singer Bee Amegilla asaropoda rhodoscymna
A flash of red and a quick buzz was all I got when this red singer bee flew by. After much chasing and many failed swings of my net I had to wait to see this boy land before I could catch him.
Female Leafcutter Bee Megachile hackeriapis aurifrons
Distributed across all of mainland Australia I’d recommend everyone to keep their eyes open for these beauties. A large black bee with a red face and red eyes, they are sometimes hard to miss.
Male Reed Bee Exoneura
As the name suggests these reed bees often make their nests in reeds or hollow out small pithy branches, provisioning their young with pollen and nectar at the end of their little nest.
Female Colletid Bee Callohesma flavopicta
Callohesma bees are often tiny; this individual is only at 4 mm long. However, if you get the chance to spot one (often feeding on gum flowers) you will be greeted with a pleasant array of pale yellows, greens and oranges.
Male Colletid Bee Leioproctus amabilis
Found in Barrington, Tasmania this big colletid was foraging beside the introduced honeybee and bumblebee in a bee-friendly yard. While direct conflict with introduced pollinators is rare it has been found that introduced pollinators compete with their native counterparts for resources.
Female Leafcutter Bee Megachile lucidiventris
Leafcutter bees typically have large and powerful mandibles for cutting circles out of leaves – commonly out of the leaves of roses, native ginger and other plants. They then use these cuttings to build a nest for their young.
Female Sweat Bee Lasioglossum australictus lithuscum
Bees often harbour mites. Unlike the mite Varroa destructor that attacks European honeybees many mites form mutual symbiotic relationships with bees. Mites eat nest fungus that might otherwise harm the bee’s young, while the bees transport the mites between their nests. This is one possible reason for why this sweat bee if carrying these large mites.
Female Halictid Bee Homalictus urbanus
Homalictus bees are common across Australia. In shades of metallic green, blue, red and more these gems nest in the ground, often in reasonably sized aggregations.
Female Sugarbag Bee Tetragonula
One of everyone’s favourite groups of bees – the stingless bees are often cultivated and kept in little hives for the occasional harvesting of honey or just the enjoyment of seeing these bees go about their daily tasks.
Female Neon Cuckoo Bee Thyreus nitidulus
Many bees sleep outside of a nest at night, meaning that they can be find like this – roosting by locking their mandibles on branches and waiting for the light and warmth of the following day to begin their work once again.
Female Colletid Bee Leioproctus
I am often surprised by how little we know of our diverse and important native bees. This female Leioproctus is yet undescribed. There are over 1600 native bee species already described but the real number of species in Australia is thought to lie somewhere between 2000 and 3000 species.
Male Golden-Green Carpenter Bee Xylocopa lestis aeratus
Big and fluffy, these male carpenter bees look quite different to their female counterparts, but certainly they are no less beautiful.
Home Topics Wildlife A photographic guide to Australia’s bees
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A new and exciting citizen science project has launched this week. It’s subject? One of Australia’s favourite birds, the superb fairy-wren.
Create, Code and Play with your very own Robots!
This beautifully illustrated large-format calendar features 12 works of art by one of Australia’s finest wildlife artists, James Hough.