Hive Society! A Bee And Wasp Gallery

Gardens are full of surprises if you keep your eyes open – and have a camera handy. This autumn, flowering Pigeon peas proved irresistible to six different native bee species. What’s going on in your garden?

Here’s a checklist of what we’ve identified to date:

* Leafcutter Bee, Megachile inermis; observed April – May feeding on pigeon pea nectar and identified by CSIRO entomologist, and native bee keeper, Tim Heard, 3.5.08;
* Chalicodoma bee; also feeding on pigeon pea and identified by Tim Heard, 3.5.08;
* Carpenter bee, Xylocopa aruana;
* Blue-banded bee, Amegilla cingulata;
* Stingless bee, Trigonia carbonaria – tiny, black, lives in colonies;
* Teddy bear bee, Amegilla cingulata – found pollinating Austromyrtus dulcis 30.11.07;
*Neon cuckoo bee, Thyreus nitidulus;
*European honeybee, Apis mellifera var. ligustica spinola or Italian strain honeybee;
*Spider Wasp, Cryptocheilus sp.;
* Spider Wasp, Cryptocheilus bicolor;
* Paper Wasp, Ropalidia revolutionalis;
* Egg Parasitoid Wasp, Anastatus sp.
*Hairy Flower Wasp, Campsomeris radula;
*Black Hairy Flower Wasp, Scolia soror;
*Citrus Gall Wasp, Bruchophagus fellis, loves attacking the Tahitian limes;
* Sphecid or Mud Wasp Species 1 – large species that constructs a long series of chambers; adults feed on nectar; young feed on paralysed insects or spiders;
* Sphecid or Mud Wasp Species 2 – smaller species that constructs individual chambers that are clustered;
* Native Wasp Species 1 – orange and black patterning. Found once on a native Murraya;
*Native Wasp Species 2 – orange, yellow and black, rapid mover!
*Fire-tailed Resin Bee aka Mason Bee, Megachile mystaceana;
*Native Wasp Species 3 – about 1cm long, forms resin-lined tunnels for egg laying – uses old screw holes in window frames and doorways;
*Large Potter Wasp, Abispa ephippium, first seen 17.12.07 investigating hollow ends of bamboo frames possibly to use for egg-laying;
Jerry Coleby-Williams
30th May 2008