Skip to main content

Green and Gold Nomia - Interesting Australian Native Bees!

While walking the dog down at the dam a few months ago I saw all these insects, that I thought were possibly bees, clambering all over a couple of stems of grass. I had nothing to capture images of this spectacle with me except my phone (and that couldn't focus on small insects on grasses that were waving in the wind!) so a week or so ago when I saw it again and had my camera on me, I took a few million photos and bought them home hoping to identify them.

I decided they were bees - they looked like a blue banded bee but different...

I ended up sending a few pictures to Nick at Australian Native Bees  and asking him what he
A. thought they were and
B. what he thought they were doing!

He said they were likely to be drones waiting for the mating flight of a queen in a nest somewhere - sort of a bee bucks party!

 He mailed me back a few hours later and said that a bee mate of his had identified them as Green and Gold Nomia's (Lipotriches Australica) - an Australian Native bee!

With both pieces of information I was able to search the net and find that even though I've only seen it twice, its a reasonably common occurrence.

From the Australian Museum website:
"Nomia bees live in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and 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.

During the day male Nomia bees forage for nectar but at night hundreds of them gather together, clinging onto grass stems. Nobody really knows why they do this but it is a behaviour that some other bees, including blue-banded bees, also show.

The behaviour of the females is slightly better understood. Up to three share a nest burrowed into the soil. They take turns guarding the entrance, blocking it with their face during the day and their abdomen at night. Inside the nest the Nomia bees make urn-shaped cells containing a disc of nectar and pollen and a single egg. Each nest may be reused by several generations."

  For some more Nomia photos and information have a look at Robert Ashdowns blog... and read his story about finding a similar wriggling mass of bees on some grass here in Brisbane - click on a few of the links, the macro photos of insects is worth the side trip at the bottom of the post!

Nomia's seem to be quite a common bee across the globe and all seem to exhibit this bachelor party behaviour I found referances to this on sites across the globe! I spotted them here in Brisbane, both times in the late afternoon and even though I've kept an eye out for them every time I've been in the area since, I haven't seen them again. There must be more to this behaviour than just a sleeping place - or maybe they find a new place to sleep each afternoon....!

This is the grass clump that they were on. There are plenty of them around of the same grass species but they were all on this clump. I could kid myself that this was the same clump I saw them on last time as well. If not it was certainly in this area.

If you have seen Nomia bees - leave comments and links in the comments section - Id love to see your Nomia boys partying hard!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Killing cockroaches with boric acid v borax!

We live in Queensland. We have cockroaches. Lots of cockroaches! Why the NSW rugby team is called the Cockroaches is a mystery to me - surely ours are not only bigger but more plentiful??? At any rate, I don't like living with them (and I'm quite sure they  are not so fond of me at the moment!!) and I have been going through the usual gauntlet of sprays, solutions and bombs to get rid of them...

But I'm not so keen on the chemical aspect of all this spraying and bombing. I hate the smell and can almost feel disease and cancer growing in me every time I spray. I'm OK with the resident cockies getting a lungful of chemicals and then keeling over but I feel its impolite (and probably illegal) if my guests and family members do the same thing!!!

We went through a faze of killing them by hand (and flyswatter and rolled up newspaper and underfoot) but its hard and frustrating work and it probably was only culling the dumb and slow ones - leaving the smart fast ones to breed!!!

What to do when your cat attacks a bird... and doesn't kill it.

We have an eight year old cat who we got as a stray about six years ago. The vet reckoned she was about two when we got her and we did all the right things and got her spayed and vaccinated and all that stuff. She loves people and no matter where you are in the house or garden, she will not be far away. She really good with kids and will put up with the squishiest cuddles and a far bit of toddler tail fascination before bolting out the door to escape. She is well fed (despite the look she is giving me and the empty bowl below...) but not fat - but still the  urge to hunt and subsequently kill still seems to be quite strong.

Last weekend, she pounced out of nowhere on a rainbow lorrikeet - thankfully my husband and a band of teenage boys were also there and managed to grab the bird before the cat had done more than pounce. Now we have a slightly mangled still alive but obviously unwell bird on our hands - what do you do?

Here's what we did...

We found a box - popped an old towel in t…

Refilling old candle holders with new home made candles!

I had a number of nice wee candles that had burnt down to the bottom of their containers. They were too nice to throw away and I decided that I might be able to refill them with some more wax that I had lying around and use them again. Jumping straight in as I am apt to do.... I learnt a bit about candle making the hard way!

Here's what I did...

First I gathered up all my old wax. I scooped the wax out of old candles by either melting it for popping the whole container in the freezer for 10 minutes or so - most of the wax just popped out of its container after that!
I bought a length of candle wick from my local handcraft store. This was 6 meters and cost me $4.
I used the double boiler method of melting all my wax together. I used an old tuna can as I was only planning on filling four small candles. Don't let any water boil over into your wax. It will make your candles go funny...
I gently stirred the wax as it melted.
I measured the depth of the candle holders and then doub…