Will they visit?: Blue-banded Bees frequently visit home gardens
Natural Distribution: Common and widespread throughout the South West and Perth region
Blue Banded Bee – (C) Kit Prendergast
Blue Banded Bee – (C)Kit Prendergast
Blue Banded Bee – (Creative Commons)
Habitat at a Glance
See Habitat Guide for more detail
Shelter: Shallow burrows, shrubs, and constructed bee hotels
Diet: Nectar and pollen
Water: Shallow bird baths
ReWild Benefit: Pollination
Habitat Guide - Shelter
Female Blue-banded Bees are solitary and nest in rocky crevices and sandy areas where they dig burrows into soft limestone, mortar, and occasionally mud embankments to lay their eggs. Keep some areas of the garden free of mulch and leaf litter to provide potential breeding areas.
Male Blue-banded Bees are more social and roost together in small groups at night by clasping onto twigs and branches with their jaws.
Blue-banded Bees will build their burrows in pots and bricks filled with limestone mortar. See below for a template. Before you build:
Place several bee hotel throughout the garden to avoid disease spread.
Have several smaller hotels throughout the garden to avoid parasite burden (including cuckoo bees) .
Position in a north and east position sheltered with dappled shade.
Keep dry and ensure protection from the rain.
Remember, insecticides kill native bees, so avoid using insecticides around the garden.
Habitat Guide - Food and Water
Providing natural sources of food
Blue-banded Bees will feed from a wide diversity of native flowering plants. Planting an array of trees, shrubs, and flowering annuals will provide a range of foraging habitat.
Avoid commercial non-native seeds advertised for bee gardens. These plants may not be suitable for native bees and have the potential to become serious weeds.
Providing sources of water
Blue-banded Bees will visit bird baths and ponds for a drink. Bees run the risk of drowning if they fall into a bird bath or pond. Placing partially submerged rocks or sticks will provide an avenue for a bee to safely leave the water.
Blue-banded Bees have a sting and are not aggressive. Native bees are critical in sustaining local biodiversity as they can pollinate a greater variety of native plants compared to honeybees. If you see this busy bee in your backyard, you can record your sighting on the Atlas of Living Australia.