Animal Species:Reed bees
Reed bees are one of the most commonly encountered bees in the Sydney area.
Standard Common Name
5 mm - 8 mm
Reed bees are found throughout Australia.
Reed bees live in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The reed bees' name comes from their habit of nesting in dried-out stems of a number of plants including the introduced weed Lantana. The entrance to these nests is often guarded by a female bee, using her abdomen or face to block the entrance. Some species show cooperative behaviour, sharing a nest and foraging or guard duties. Unusually, the nests are not divided into discreet chambers for larvae. In fact, in the most common species, larvae and pupae lie together in a pile.
Nests are also used as hibernating chambers for adult reed bees which, unlike most Australian native bee species, survive the winter.