These bees showed up in our garden last week sometime. I was excited to finally get a chance to see them up close. There have been several reports of these (what might be the same) bees around our town over the past 12 - 18 months. This was interesting because there are no social bees of any kind native to Sinai. However, European Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) were introduced to the high mountain region nearby about 20 years ago. But if the ID is correct, these are different bees. According to an article published in African Entomology in March 2017, "The bees (Apis florea) were recorded in Jordan in 2008 in Aqaba and recently in Suez, a movement to the west of around 45 km every year. Probably the dwarf honeybee was present in the Sinai Peninsula at the same time when it was recorded in Jordan, but due to limited field expeditions the species was not successfully collected." (https://www.researchgate.net/publication...)
on the branches of a mulberry tree in a cultivated desert garden
There is concern that the introduced honey bees may put local bees and plants in danger. One study has been done so far: "Alien honeybees increase pollination risks for range‐restricted plants" (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full...) It would be interesting to see more studies about the impact of these bees.
Lat: 28.50, Long: 34.51
Spotted on Nov 17, 2018
Submitted on Nov 17, 2018