Despite a cooler day, Karen Retra’s ever-vigilant eye for small critters caught a plethora of flying, crawling, eating, resting and generally busy insects on our recent walk in Castle Creek, no matter how well disguised.
The cool, overcast weather meant there weren’t as many insects visiting flowers as would be the case in warmer, sunny weather.
While we didn’t spot any native bees in action on flowers, we did get to see where some of them rest. Many yellow flowers, including sticky everlasting (Xerochrysum viscosum), flat weed and Murnong or Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata) had small bees resting in or on them. Some of the flowers had closed around the bees. Yellow and blue flowers seem to be their favourites for rest spots.
Spring is a great time to see this behaviour. If you are in the bush (or your garden) late in the day, you may spy them having a rest. These bees don’t really have a common name, they are often referred to by the family Halictidae, which are known as sweat bees. The ones we saw are from the genus Lasioglossum.
Later in the walk Karen noted that the bare ground with holes in it could be a place that native bees may nest. In sunny spring weather, we would expect to see the bees flying nearby and even working to create, leave or enter their holes. We did indeed see a bee working in one of the holes. We could just see her face, not enough for a positive ID, but enough for a photo!
Parklands Albury Wodonga acknowledge the support of the Ross Trust and the Victorian Government for this program. All photos by Karen Retra.