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Native Bees

Native Bee species that inhabit Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

The largest native bee in Australia. They are solitary and pollen eaters, the female lays eggs in hollow wood. Black abdomen and yellow thorax with distinctive black spot. A new sighting on the Conservation Area.

Images of a 25 mm solitary Australian native Resin-dauber Bee. They are called resin bees because they collect resins and gums to build partitions between their brood cells. With over one hundred Australian species they are not aggressive and stingless. Solitary native bees drink nectar directly from the flower and are important pollinators.

These leaf cutting or resin bees live solitary lives boring tunnels in rotting wood to make a nest. This excellent image shows pollen attached to the abdomen of the bee rather than on the legs as commonly seen. They are important pollinators for native plants.

Image courtesy of Wildlife Photographer Tony Belton.

The newly published book “Bush Companion Fauna Species of the Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers, New South Wales” is available to purchase direct from the publisher.

This book contains over 310 “full colour plate” fauna species in 250 “perfect bound” pages with both common and scientific names.

Order by email at to reserve your copy.

Price $25 a copy plus postage from Sportsman Creek Press.

Bush Companion Cover

Found feeding on perennial Slug Herb ( Murdannia graminea) this Native Stingless Bee, possibly Trigona carbonaria species.

A comparison of sizes between two species of  native bees. The smaller Masked Bee is 15mm long and no competition for the huge male Carpenter Bee.

Scroll image to enlarge and magnify.

A large, robust native bee captured on Banksia flower in the bird  sanctuary. Carpenter bees are a solitary bee which burrow into dead wood making tunnels. The males do not have a stinger and are important pollinators of open-faced flowers.

There are many types of  native Masked Bees. They have a distinctive yellow spot on the thorax. The bee in the image is gathering from a Banksia flower at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. They have a body length of 15mm. This species also displays two yellow patches on the top of the head which it uses to “face-mimic” and ward-off competition.

A tiny 5mm long native bee photographed on Banksia flower in the Bird Sanctuary. Tentatively identified as a Reed Bee which nest in hollow stems, sometimes Lantana species.

Scroll image to enlarge and magnify.

Head-on image of  the Metallic Carpenter Bee, displaying “face-mimicry”. A form of protection which increases a creatures chances of survival.