Sleeping-bee.JPG (20470 bytes)Sleeping Bee: One winterís morning we were wandering around the garden. On one of our shrubs we noticed a sleeping winged insect grasping a leaf with its jaws. The insect was about one centimetre long with a fuzzy brown thorax and blue stripes on the abdomen. We remembered seeing a photograph of a similar insect in a book. Found the photograph in Close to Nature by John Landy. The book describes a year observing nature in the Snowy Mountains of northern Victoria and southern NSW. John Landy is a man of many parts. He was a world famous Olympic athlete, is now Governor of Victoria and is a skilled writer and photographer. He was the inspiration for the writing of our Garden Diary.
Letís return to the sleeping subject.  It is a Blue-banded Bee (Amegilla species). This native bee is a solitary insect and is found throughout mainland Australia. In the country they live in sandstone cliffs. In built-up areas they utilize soft mortar between bricks.
They have the ability to sting but are not aggressive. Blue-banded Bees are good pollinators and will pollinate vegetables as well as many native plants.
The bee we saw was caught outside at nightfall and slept on the plant. The jaws clamped on the leaf to prevent the insect falling off the plant. The bee had flown away when we looked later in the day.