Golden sands and blue/ green oceans are iconic to Australia. The interesting Australian Native Amegilla Bee species, also known as the Blue Banded bee, takes inspiration from our rugged landscape in its appearance. It’s golden fur thorax, iridescent blue and black striped abdomen and green eyes may catch your attention in your garden right now!
The Blue Banded Bee is nothing like the honey bee you know that lives in colonies 60000+ strong, this species is a solitary creature. The females create nests by burrowing in clay soil and often build these spaces next to other female Blue Banded bees, living in a neighbourhood style setting. The males huddle together at sundown on a twig and sleep through the night as a group.
“Buzz '' pollination is a technique used by some bee species, especially solitary bees including the Blue Banded bee to release pollen held within tight tubes in the flower. The bee grabs onto the pollen-bearing part of the flower and rapidly moves its flight muscles without moving its wings. The vibration expels the pollen, covering the bee in golden dust. The pollen may land onto the flowers’ female organs or is carried by the bee to more flowers. Of the world's flowering plants, 8% require buzz pollination, including the Australian Native Solanum as well as favourite foods- blueberries, tomatoes and eggplant. Bees are extremely successful pollinators and are crucial for the world's food systems.
If you too want to meet these fairies in your garden, try these tips!
- Research flowering native “buzz pollination” plants and fill your garden with them!
- Leave a dish of water with floating leaves, so there is something for the bees to drink
- Maybe don’t trim those twiggy branches too quickly as the weather cools down and leave them for the fellas to find a place to rest.
- Keep an eye out, magic moments move quickly!
Bee Girl Honey Co.Olivia Duffin,
BEE GIRL HONEY Co.
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Banksia print - blue banded bees are featured in our new print
Textile design by Abby French - @bursariaworkshop