Basil and the bees

One of the reason that I thought bees wouldn’t mind living in my area is that throughout the winter of 2014, I had constant bee visitors to my flowering basil.

After cutting back hard in November, the basil has flowered again. I spent a productive hour or two chasing the bees around the basil. The pollen from the basil is a deep red/orange colour.

Who says native bees and honey bees can’t feed on the same sources?

Native Bee

Native Stingless

I’m not quite sure which kind. There are at least 10 kinds of native bees that live in NSW. I’m claiming it as native stingless, or tetragonula.

Honey Bee:

European Honey Bee

Apis mellifera. This is the kind of European honey bee that I have in my backyard. I was a little disappointed when I first didn’t see my bees returning with loads of the red/orange pollen, even though I saw bees on the basil. This means they’re going my further afield. But now, in the past week, I have seen the bees coming back home with their saddle bags packed full of basil pollen.

Blue banded bee:

Blue banded bee

Amegilla cingulata. This one was the hardest to capture a photo of because she was such a ditz. It didn’t take her seconds to decide if she wanted to visit a certain flower, it was milliseconds. So it was very hard to focus the camera in time, before she moved on. These guys are well known for their ‘buzz pollination’, which would be why its so hard to get her to stay still!


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