We went over to Brisbane, to visit my Dad, earlier this year. While we were there we spent a morning in an animal park, on the way out we spotted a log with tiny little black native bees living in it.

I didn’t think we had native bees in New Zealand, so when I spotted a similar critter in our garden I was surprised. A bit of researching later, I discovered that we have at least 18 varieties of native bee, although some are still waiting to be named, (poor things.) Although they do not produce honey they are valuable pollinators. They do not form colonies, & seem to have a preference for tunneling in sandy, or clay banks. The bees we’ve had visiting are very docile, & extremely thorough in their visits to flowers. They seem to have a preference for daisy type flowers.

Our theory is that the arrival of Varroa mite, which has killed off most of the wild honey bee colonies, (we had several in old willow trees about the place,) has left a gap in the insect world, which the native bees are filling, we could be wrong, has anyone else come across these little guys?

Native Bees - Leioproctus sp.

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