White Banded bee
White Banded bee, Subfamily Halictinae Image: Andrew Donnelly
Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Genus
    Lasioglossum
    Subfamily
    Halictinae
    Family
    Halictidae
    Super Family
    Apoidea
    Suborder
    Apocrita
    Order
    Hymenoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    1 cm

White-banded bees are members of the family Halictidae, which contains around 25% of Australia's native bee species and are (discounting the commercial Honey Bee) the most abundant bees around the world.

Identification

White-banded bees are generally medium-sized black or dark brown bees with broad white bands of hair across their abdomen. Lasioglossum lanarium is one of the larger species of white-banded bee (about 1 cm).

Habitat

White-banded bees live in urban areas, forests and woodlands, heath. Most species nest in the ground and a number of females use the entrance and main shaft but dig their own tunnel off to the side.

Distribution

White-banded bees are found throughout Australia.

Danger to humans

The sting of the white-banded bee may cause anaphylactic shock in people sensitive to bee stings. One case resulted in the death of the person stung.

Bee stings cause intense local pain and swelling but a severe reaction may occur in some people with allergies to bee stings. This reaction can include difficulty breathing and even collapse. The sting should be removed, pressure/immobilisation first aid should be applied immediately, and medical attention sought.