What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possibly a wasp?
Location: Melbourne Victoria Australia
January 25, 2014 12:57 am
Hi there,
Saw this on my bush in my garden, at first i thought it was a group of seeds, until i looked closer, just wondering what they were, and if they were anything to worry about.
Location: Australia, Melhourne, Eastern Suburbs
Season: Second Month Summer
Sorry if the photos are not great, very bright day so was hard to get one that wasnt overexposed a little
Signature: Curious

Bachelor Party of Longhorned Bees

Bachelor Party of Sweat Bees

Dear Curious,
This is a Bachelor Party of male Longhorned Bees in the tribe Eucerni, but we are not certain of the species.  Male Bees do not sting, so they pose no threat to you.  You can see similar images of Bachelor Parties from North America in our archives.

Update:  February 5, 2014
We got a comment that these might be male Green and Gold Nomia Bees,
Lipotriches australica, a type of Sweat Bee that also exhibits this Bachelor Party behavior in Australia.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Melbourne, Australia

2 Responses to Bachelor Party of Sweat Bees in Australia

  1. L says:

    I think what you have there is actually a group of male Nomia bees. I have found a similar looking group of bees in my backyard. I have since done a lot of research and if you look up bees from the family Halictidae you will probably come across some more information. For something more specific, you could try researching Green and Gold Nomia Bees, Lipotriches australica (Nomia australica). I’m not sure that they are the Green and Gold variety but hopefully that will point you in the right direction.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for the tip. According to the Australian Museum website: “During the day male Nomia bees forage for nectar but at night hundreds of them gather together, clinging onto grass stems. Nobody really knows why they do this but it is a behaviour that some other bees, including blue-banded bees, also show. The behaviour of the females is slightly better understood. Up to three share a nest burrowed into the soil. They take turns guarding the entrance, blocking it with their face during the day and their abdomen at night.” Aussie Bee has some photos that support your identification. The Brisbane Insect Website also shows this bachelor party behavior.

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