A tiny Aussie champion helping endangered outback plants and improving backyard gardens. A true-blue beauty with a striking appearance, but unlike European honey bees, the Blue-banded bee has pale opalescent blue stripes on its abdomen.
Its specific name cingulate is from the Latin word cingulum ‘belt’ referring to the bee's bands. The females’ can be distinguished by five complete bands around their abdomen and males only boasting five. The genus Amegilla contains over 250 additional species, but several are virtually indistinguishable from A. cingulata, so are commonly confused with it.
The bees apply an adaption to their daily routines that involves clinging onto flowers and vibrating vigorously increasing the release of pollen. Currently this little bee has the highest recorded rates of head banging, which is good news for veggie gardens which respond well to this form of pollination. While they shake down flowers in an attempt to free the pollen they don't actually produce any honey like their European cousins.
Females are solitary, nest building burrows in dried-up river banks, old clay homes, and like to burrow in soft sandstone walls where they become riddled with bee tunnels. Blue bees appear to be more rapid in movement and have the ability sting, but are not as aggressive as other bees. The males can be seen huddled in groups for company, clinging to plant stems in the evenings or taking naps inside flowers if it becomes too windy and hot during the day.
Size 35cm x 35cm
Cotton rag paper 310gsm