Blue Banded Bees (Amegilla)
Certainly a favourite for Let’s Go Buggin participants is the Blue Banded Bee (Amegilla cingulata), even though this one pictured above doesn’t exhibit the blue bands, it is in fact part of the genus of Blue Banded Bees (Amegilla). Bees can sometimes sleep outside the hive and when they do, they clasp down on a plant stem and hang like this one pictured. It’s a little disconcerting as they don’t have eyelids, making them appear as though they are still awake. If you move gently and slowly it’s a great opportunity for a cute picture.
Burrowing Bees (Halictidae)
Occasionally we can encounter a very cute fluffy bee species called Mellitidia tomentifera. They are a type of Burrowing Bee, with the solitary females making nests in the ground. Males will not sleep in the nest, but will cluster on plants and sleep together at night. They are endemic to the Wet Tropics of Queensland.
Of course we do see a decent number of honey bees in and around the Cairns Botanic Gardens, especially in Spring when there is an abundance of flowers. This one pictured is likely to be a European Honeybee.
One of more glamourous species is the Banksia Bee (Hylaeus alcyoneus). They exhibit the loveliest yellow and green bodies and often hover around some of the prettiest flowers which makes for some excellent photographic opportunities. The male of this species will fiercely guard a location that a female might find appealing so he can increase his chances of mating with her.
Burrowing Bee (Mellitidia tomentifera), European Honeybee, Banksia Bee (Hylaeus alcyoneus)