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


Aussie Bee Online
New Articles

About Native Bees
What are Native Bees?
Bee Photo Gallery
Bees in Your Area
Common Questions
Rescuing Native Bees
Bees in Houses - Advice
Exotic Bumblebees

Stingless Native Bees
What are Stingless Bees?
Buy Stingless Bees
Keep Stingless Bees
Honey Production
Crop Pollination

Study Native Bees
Field Guide
Information Booklets
Tim Heard's Book
John Klumpp's Book
Aussie Bee Back Issues

Support Native Bees
Aussie Bee Shop
Order Form
Who We Are
Privacy Policy
Free Newsletter
Website Survey

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

Back to top