BANKSIA BEE (Hylaeus alcyoneus)

Aussie Bee > Native Bee Photo Gallery > Banksia Bees

The territorial behaviour of the Banksia Bee is one of the most fascinating examples of Australian native bee behaviour! The 12 mm long male Banksia Bee (Hylaeus alcyoneus) fiercely defends a miniature territory on a Banksia flower spike. He whirs his wings and fights off all other males, like a 'King of the Castle.'

Female Banksia Bees build solitary nests in widely scattered locations, so it would be hard for males to locate females for mating. However, the females flock to Banksia flowers to collect nectar and pollen. So male Banksia Bees defend little territories on these Banksia flowers, and compete for the favours of the females there.

native bees

Above: a male Banksia Bee guards his Banksia flower territory. This excellent photograph was contributed by Dr Michael Batley.

The Banksia Bee, Hylaeus alcyoneus, is black with a dark metallic blue abdomen. It has bright yellow markings on the face and across the shoulders. This species belongs to the Masked Bee group in the family Colletidae. It is found in southern areas of Australia, including Tasmania.

Flowers Loved by Native Bees
Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden

Learn more...

native masked bee

The Masked Bees

Explore Australian native bees...

Back to top


Australian Native Bees
What are Native Bees?
Native Bee ID Guide
Bee Photo Gallery
Native Bee Videos
Bees in Your Area
Common Questions

Stingless Native Bees
What are Stingless Bees?
Buy Stingless Bees
Keep Stingless Bees
Save a Damaged Nest
Honey Production
Crop Pollination

Support Native Bees
Rescue Native Bees
Make a Bee Hotel
Bee-Friendly Gardens
Bees in Houses - Advice
Varroa Mite Crisis

Study Native Bees
Free In-depth Articles
Native Bee eBooks
Field Guide eBook
Other Good Books

About Aussie Bee
Who We Are
Free Newsletter
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Copyright Policy

Visit Aussie Bee's Facebook page for stories and photos from the world of native bees:
Aussie Bee on Facebook

Back to top