The Blue-banded Bees

Ever since I saw the blue-banded bees buzzing around my flowers about three years ago, I’ve been fascinated by them. With their dart-and-hover flight pattern, their tiny size, and their conspicuous blue bands, they draw your attention. I’ve read online that males have five bands, and females, four. These Australian natives are members of the genus Amegilla, and are widely distributed throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Yesterday, I was going through some photos I’d taken nearly two years ago. Going by the number of photos,there were several attempts to capture this beautiful insect. This is the only one where the beauty of the bee can be clearly seen. On reading that they are drawn to blue and purple flowers, I’d even bought plants with blue/purple blooms but I think they don’t have a colour-obsession. They’re seen in all kinds of blooms!

I was also lucky to get a shot of a number of bees retiring for the night! It was late afternoon and the light was fading. I heard a continuous buzzing sound as I passed by and this was the sight! I’d read that females build nests in shallow burrows in the ground, or in the soft mortar of houses. Males cluster at night by clinging to stems and branches. This was the one and only time, I’d seen such a sight!

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About Kanak Hagjer

Hello from north-east India! I love to blog about all things floral and foliar and sharing the beauty of my region is what I am most passionate about!
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25 Responses to The Blue-banded Bees

  1. islandgal246 says:

    We don’t have these bees out here but would be a great name for a musical group. “The Blue Banded Bees” now playing at Kanak’s garden, admission is only a flowering plant.

  2. Rosie says:

    Never knew such a little creature existed – I’ve a few questions: do they sting people and do they make honey? or are they like hoverflies as they dart about from left to right and we get those in black and white aswell as yellow banded ones……. but not blue.

    I think I too would be out taking photos of them! I love seeing photos with little insects still in flight like yours.

    Hope you son is fully recovered now 🙂 Rosie

    • kanak7 says:

      Rosie, the blue-banded bees are solitary bees. I’ve read that solitary bees do not store honey in their nests. But I’ve never seen the nest of these bees despite photographing the insects umpteenth times. No, they do not sting. They’re most likely to sting if they’re disturbed. It’s their buzzing that sounds angry and loud but I’ve never been stung. They’re buzz pollinators.

      My son is fine now and handling things pretty well. Thanks for asking:)

  3. Hello Kanak! A great post. I learned from Stuart’s Donegal Wildlife blog that here in the British Isles there is a hoverfly with blue patches, Leucozona glaucia.

    You can see it here:
    http://donegal-wildlife.blogspot.com/2010/08/foreign-trip.html

    • kanak7 says:

      Hi Caroline, thank you for telling me about/and for the link to Stuart’s blog. I had a quick look and the photos are wonderful. Fascinating to learn about a hoverfly with blue patches. I’d never come across one…not even on blogs.

      I hope you have a good week!

  4. birdy says:

    Nice shot Kanak, I must say as capturing blue banded bee is not an easy task, because of their restlessness.

  5. Mildred says:

    These bees are amazing to me. Thanks for sharing the photos Kanak and I am glad to read above that your son is doing well.

  6. Joey says:

    So cool, Kanak! I have never even heard of blue banded bees let alone see photos of them. Thank you for another amazing post.

  7. Susie says:

    I think those are so pretty. I believe I remember seeing them on your blog before. Wish we had them here.

  8. andrea says:

    What a wonderful view to see these lovely creatures. I’ve not seen them here yet, i don’t know if we have them too. I’m familiar with the common one making honey and been stung a few times. I love Helen’s idea of making the “The Blue Banded Bees” as a musical group, i lol at that, hopefully they will pick that name up.

    • kanak7 says:

      Andrea, I hope so too;) I’ve been stung a few times but not by these bees. It happened when I brought the dried clothes and a carpenter bee happened to be underneath. Ouch! That was painful! Another time I didn’t realize there was a tiny wasp under a leaf…! Served me right for not being careful:(

  9. sharmila says:

    Those are really very pretty … never seen them before !! n yes the name is musical too … enjoy their sight n music 🙂

  10. arati says:

    its nice to see someone else appreciate these cute little creatures! i’ve found quite a few hovering about our lantanas.

  11. lotusleaf says:

    So many males retiring for the night. I have come across them often here. They seem to like asystasia flowers.

  12. Stephanie says:

    I have never seen one before Kanak! Those blue bands are simply striking. Cute and attractive like you mentioned. Hope you will be able to see them more often.

  13. Lovely bees — thanks for introducing me to them.

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