Great Carpenter Bee on Melastoma affine
by Erica Siegel
This rare video by Erica Siegel of Queensland shows a Great Carpenter Bee foraging from the purple flowers of Melastoma affine.
This shrub, that is found in rainforest margins, requires a special kind of pollination called Buzz Pollination which can only be performed by a small number of bee species. The flower's pollen is trapped inside yellow capsules. The bee must curl its body around the pollen capsules (as shown in this video) and 'buzz' them with its muscles in order to release the pollen.
The Great Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa, is an expert at buzz pollination and is an important pollinator of Melastoma affine.