Amegilla Sp Click to enlarge image
Blue-banded Bee, Amegilla Sp Hymenoptera Image: Bruce Hulbert
© Bruce Hulbert

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    cingulata
    Genus
    Amegilla
    Subfamily
    Apinae
    Family
    Apidae
    Super Family
    Apoidea
    Suborder
    Apocrita
    Order
    Hymenoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    1.2 cm

A regular visitor to Sydney gardens is the Common Blue-banded Bee.

Identification

The Common Blue-banded Bee stands out because of the blue bands across its black abdomen and because of its darting, hovering flight pattern.

Habitat

The Common Blue-banded Bee lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.

Distribution

The Common Blue-banded Bee is found throughout most of Australia but is not known in Tasmania or the Northern Territory.

Other behaviours and adaptations

It was thought that these bees only visited blue and purple flowers. This is not true, but they do seem to like lavender and are attracted to blue objects, including clothing.

Life history cycle

The Common Blue-banded Bee builds a solitary nest, but often close to one another. It prefers soft sandstone to burrow in, and areas of this type of rock can become riddled with bee tunnels. It also likes mud-brick houses and often burrows into the mortar in old buildings. Cells at the end of the tunnel contain an egg with a pollen/nectar mixture for the emerging larva.