Beautiful blue-banded Bees

indigenous bee
not our photo but we will endeavour to snap one of our own. Courtesy of Pollinator Project.

So the veggie patch is a bit of a joke now. It’s gone beyond an overgrown assortment of veggies that have gone to seed, to a wave of clamouring bazaar weeds screaming ‘dear god help me, I’m being neglected’.

I have a few ‘excuses’ for this neglect – mainly the searing temperatures through the summer (too hot to move let alone dig/weed) and then I injured a disk in my back. That said, my mind has been busy designing and planning how my veggie patch is going to look. It just hasn’t translated into actual work yet.

However, one little visitor has been extremely busy in the veggie patch – a beautiful blue-banded bee has made an appearance. In fact, today I discovered about 4 or 5 buzzing around the purple flowers that have spontaneously sprouted. To say I was shrieking in delight is an understatement. You see I had only just read about the existence of such beautiful native been in Australian Geographic last week.

Blue-banded bees are one of a few native Australian bee species that perform a particular type of pollination known as ‘buzz pollination’. The bees literally grab the flower and shake their body rapidly causing the flower to vibrate. This dislodges the pollen from the anther (which is attached to the stamen). Only these particular bees can do this making them very useful for farmers.

The ‘blue’ bands are actually more bright turquoise and their heads are amber in colour. Truly stunning to look at.

Apparently, these busy little pollinators love chillies, tomatoes and any blue or purple flowers. They seem to love lavender too – which I also have beside the back bedroom sliding doors (opposite the veggie patch).

As I begin to the get the veggie patch together and help Peter with the wider groundwork in general, I’ll be sure to factor in these little guys by providing flowers they like. We need them to keep up their good work.

Thank goodness the veggie patch is a hive of industry for some.


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