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Help to identify weird native bee?

Hi fellow native bee lovers.

Yesterday I found these weird and wonderful bees in my garden. At first I thought it they were just another couple of my honey bees until one landed and I realised how bright its body was.


There were two hovering around and one was periodically landing and looked to almost be flicking crusher dust from the path with its feet - as though it was covering the hole behind it.

It is slightly larger than a honey bee (like a drone size) and was a little bit louder too. It could even be a wasp I suppose, but the size, stature, wings and proportions of its body look much more like a bee. The abdomen looks very much like a blue banded bee but the bright yellow body is totally different. You can see the blue tinge in the last photo.

I found many different native bees in the garden before (domino cuckoo - like my profile pic - blue banded bees, tropical carpenter bees etc.), but always I’ve been able to identify them within a few minutes on google. These guys however I can’t find anywhere, so would love to know what they are.

If anyone doesn’t know the bee but knows a good place to ask let me know! :slight_smile:

Thanks!

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Thanks for the pics and posting Wynnie, I haven’t seen one like it before and it might be a new unidentified species. When you have a name for it let us know, it certainly is different with the very yellow legs and blueish hue in the bands. Amazing how many bees live underground.
Cheers

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Looks like a wasp to me, but I know nothing about Australian insects. :blush:

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Nice photos.
Although it does look like a bee I reckon it’s the Bembix wasp.
Although the one in this link is smaller there’s a lot in common.
http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_apoidwasps/SmallBembix.htm

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I think @skeggley nailed it. A Bembix (sand) wasp. I recall someone else looking for an identification. That ended up being a Sand Wasp.

It’s amazing how some bees look like wasps & vice versa. A predator of native bees, the Syrphid Fly looks to me like a wasp. For years I saw them hovering about thinking they were wasps. All they want to do is do the same thing in a native bee hive as what SHBs do in honeybee hives. SHBs will do the same thing in native bee hives, if given the chance.

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You are The Man! Nicely done, Skeggs, nicely done. :heart_eyes: By the way, I agree, @Wynnie’s photo is awesome. Much better than most of the professional photos on web sites. Back patting all around, I think! :star_struck:

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Yes!! Thanks so much @skeggley. This is a different species but it allowed me to easily find right one - Yellow Sand Wasp (Bembix palmata).

They are ground nesters and the page even talks about how the wasp can work in pairs just as I saw :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone! :star_struck:

4 Likes