Please, can someone let me know?
yes,it looks like an australian native stingless bee(Trigona carbonaria),although im sure there are plenty of others
NathanY - Perth,W.A.
The native bees I've seen have been really small and all black. The sizing looks to match, but perhaps there are different species around?
I know little about the distribution of native bees but would be interested to know if anyone gets blue-banded bees which we see in summer, mainly.
I haven't seen any blue-banded bees around my place. But as we live in a mud-brick house, we get what I think are a native wasps,they are long and black. It builds a kind of mud tunnel between the bricks , days before they brake the tunnel walls, I can hear them buzz. There aren't many at the moment, but I took some photos for you.
Next door to me grew an Aus. Red Cedar (I think it was) tree not realizing how big it would grow. When it flowered each year, I could count up to 7 different types of bees, including the blue banded bee (first time I'd seen one of those). Some were very small, and there were 2 types of really large bees, one brown, one goldish. There were greenish banded bees as well, but could have been young blue banded bees. Now the tree is, sadly, gone, and so are the bees.
Blue banded bees seem to like Chinese Plumbago. If you are trying to attract them this is one plant you could put in your garden. Aside from its bee attracting capabilities, its a beautiful flowering garden plant.
Thanks, Night Parrot. It's interesting that Chinese Plumbago attracts blue-banded bees & if it's the Plumbago I see in Adelaide gardens sometimes it's certainly an eye catcher. However, because so much of our natural environment has been destroyed, I'd prefer to plant something indigenous to our area if I needed to attract this species of bees. As it happens, we have several black-anther flax lillies Dianella revoluta & also common emu bush Eremophila glabra which are local to our area & both these species attract blue-banded bees. There may be other plants indigenous to our area which do likewise but I'm unaware of them.
My original question was to get an idea of how wide the range is for blue-banded bees. What's your locality, Karen? (Forgive me if you've already said a thousand times before.)
Woko, I am at Logan, just south of Brisbane. Occasionally I still see a blue banded bee, but no longer in the numbers as when the Red Cedar was blooming.
If its any help Woko the blue banded bees I used to see in the plumbago were in the ACT. Commendable that you prefer native plant species as I do, but when I know an introduced species provides nourishment/shelter/lodgings for native birds I don't exclude it. More productive I think to exclude sterile, water guzzling lawns and "plastic" decorative plants like palms which I have learnt from this site are a favourite haunt of indian mynas.
Hi to all, you are getting a little bit " off track" here? My original question was: are these native bees? Only Nathan has answered to that question, when he suggested, Trigona carbonaria. When I looked them up, I'm not sure tha's what they are, as they don't seem to come any further down than Sydney. So, does anybody know what they are???? If so, do tell.
Sorry to have wandered. I don't know if these are native or not. There are over 1500 bee species native to Australia (so they say) and some introduced honey species, some of which have gone feral. I am no expert, I'm afraid. Hope you can find out.
If the size is right, those could be native stingless bees
As far as I know, there are several types of native bees - only some of which produce honey. The native stingless bees produce small amounts of honey and are social in a hive. They are small and black, about half the size of the regular honey bee. The other native bees are those like the blue-banded bee, which are basically solitary and live in burrows often in soil banks. I don't believe they produce honey (or at least not in collectable quantities).
While it's Brisbane specific, this site http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_bees/index.html is really great for backyard insects.
Yep, I get the blue-banded bees (personally I think they should be called green-banded bees) at my place in suburban Brissie. They seem to like the Thai basil and giant basil, or at least that's where I notice them.
I love to see them around, they're so big and slow and pretty - a friend in our Society for Growing Australian Plants says they call them "dump-truck" bees cause they are so big.
Thanks guys, Timmo, your link will provide me with hours of fun, reading and I might find out what kind they are? Those in the photo are the same size as European Bees, there was a large number of them in the one tree (as you can see in the first photo), but I hadn't noticed them before. That does not mean they weren't there. I'll let you know if I find out.
www.aussiebee.com.au might be helpful, Araminta. What I notice from this site is that Trigona carbonaria doesn't live in Vic (or SA) so your bees are unlikely to be this species. The site also says
Thanks Night Parrot & Timmo. Blue-banded bees seem to wide spread.
Night Parrot, exotics are a feature of Australia & there is an argument for their place in the garden if they provide habitat for our wildlife, especially if they're already in place, if they provide resources for wildlife that aren't otherwise available & if they aren't invasive.
However, I see exotics being planted
Your point about lawns is, in my view, very valid. And your example of palms providing habitat for Indian mynas equally so although I did find out through cathshane that cabbage palms are native to the eastern parts of Australia & provide fruit for top knot pigeons.
I can't disagree with anything you've said Woko. Re native palms there is also the foxtail palm which came from Cape Melville but in north Queensland so many people grow them they are becoming a "monoculture" and replacing a host of other native trees that support native birdlife. Foxtail palms and wide expanses of lawn are becoming a standard garden landscape. Not very imaginitive in my opinion and a waste of opportunity in the tropics. But there you go. People can do what they want to do with their own gardens. Sorry for raving on in your thread Araminta.
I don't mind , and I agree with everything you are saying, to most people on here ,my opinion is well known. The way I think is even a bit more radical, nurseries should not be allowed to sell certain plants in certain areas. I'm all for people's freedom to think for themselves, and make their own decisions what to plant in their own garden. But not if those decisions are a threat to our environment. So go on ranting.
(it's just that I still don't know ,what bees they were. Yesterday I have seen more tiny native bees with red little bottoms, have to try and get some photos of those. Think I have seem them in a book before)
To provoke some more, as we are thinking to "ban certain breeds of dog, because the bite people", we should be thinking to "ban othe kinds of animals, because they eat our wildlife"
I'm learning more about palms every day, Night Parrot! But what a pity people treat them as a fashion item in their gardens & produce monocultures of them. We have the same problem with agapanthas. There are a number of native bulb plants that grow naturally in our area which people could plant but they've followed the herd, I suspect, & lined their driveways with agapanthas.
To raise your provocation should we ban the people who eat kangaroo and crocodile? Or the vegetable eaters for whom we need to clear our native bush as the urban sprawl continues to eat up current farmland? <Can you see my evil grin?> Just wanted to take your thread further from native bees and get your thoughts moving, M-L.
BTW, I think your bees are just the normal introduced honey bee as the species they most resemble (Trigona carbonaria) are much smaller than this bee and are found in warmer area of Australia .
"the earth is not only for humans, but for all animals and living things."
To answer your provocation, as I have done so often , I will quote my mother. Until her death at the age of 100, she always said: " the greatest danger on this planet are people that can't think"
I stand by that, those are the ones that we should ban.
She sounds like a wonderfully wise woman.
You have two species of bees here. The one the far right is a introduced Honeybee, the other three I am thinking are native Common Spring Bees. The Trigona is a very small bee.
See it! Hear it!
Mid-North Coast NSW
Oh, isn't it wonderful to get such a late response. Thanks sooo much. I will keep an eye out for them in spring/summer, when the tiny bees returm. Nice to talk to a new(?) member.
Sorry for any confusion. I am sure they are not Trigona as these bees are only 4mm in size, like thick black ants with wings. I think they are the Common Spring Bee , Trichocolletes , as I stated in my last post.