Will they visit?: Red-eyed Bees frequently visit home gardens
Natural Distribution: Common and widespread throughout the South West and Perth region
Red-eyed Bee – (C)Canning River Eco Education Centre
Red-eyed Bee – (C)Kit Prendergast
Habitat at a Glance
See Habitat Guide for more detail
Shelter: Small tunnels in trees, shrubs, logs, and constructed bee hotels
Diet: Nectar and pollen
Water: Shallow bird baths
ReWild Benefit: Pollination
Habitat Guide - Shelter
Red-eyed Bees are solitary and nest in small tunnels within trees, shrubs, rocks, and logs. Unlike Carpenter Bees, they do not create their own nesting tunnels, relying on abandon tunnels created by borers and other insects.
Red-eyed Bees will build their nests in constructed bee hotels. See below for a template. Consider the following prior to building or positioning a bee hotel.
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
Red-eyed Bees feed from a wide diversity of native flowering plants. Banksia, grevillea, hakea, melaleuca, and flowering annuals are popular. Plant a diverse garden to provide a large 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
Red-eyed 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.
Red-eyed Bee are not aggressive, but will sting if handled. 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.