A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Amegilla cingulata, commonly known as the blue-banded bee, is an Australian native bee that occurs in many other regions, including India. I saw thesen ones waiting out a monsoon shower under a bush in my garden. The fourth one kept slipping off before he re-found his balance. Several years ago I found 1 of these bees in my garden. It must have found it suitable for breeding because they have multiplied rapidly. Now I see them darting from flower to flower all over the garden. Interestingly A. cingulata collects the majority of its nectar from blue flowers, not such a common colour in tropical flowers, but I have many blue flowers planted in my garden! They have the habit (as do hummingbirds) of hovering around a flower, diving down and then taking off at speed. They barely stop at each flower and hence are very difficult to photograph.. The male can be distinguished by the number of complete bands around the abdomen, having five as opposed to the females' four. They are small bees and can grow to 10–12 mm (0.39–0.47 in).
These bees are very important for the production of food and contribute to at least 30% of crops in Australia Blue-banded bees can sting, but are not as aggressive as other bees and they appear to be more rapid in movement. They are solitary creatures, with single females inhabiting burrows in the soil or soft stone, unlike social species such as honey bees, which live in large colonies. The males cling to plant stems during the night.
Spotted on Nov 29, 2017
Submitted on May 14, 2018
and 18 other people favorited this spotting