Posted on Sat 9th Oct 2010
Having planted a diverse mix of native plants in my garden, all manner of native insects have moved in. This little native bee is feasting on pollen and nectare from my common everastings. You can see that it is covered in pollen, so is acting as an effective polinator.
There are about 1500 species of native bees in Australia. They are generally smaller than the introduced bee. Most are solitary, but there are ten species that are social. The solitary ones do not produce honey. The social ones produce honey and are stingless.
Posted on Sat 8th Dec 2007
Trigger plants (Stylidium graminifolium in this case) are fertilised by native bees or wasps. The petal arrangement resembles the wings of an insect and the flowers possibly send out a scent that entices some insects to attempt to mate with them. When a bee or wasp tickles the centre of a flower, the tensioned anther column flicks over whacking the amorous visitor with a puff of pollen. When this is repeated with another flower, the unwitting Romeo cross-fertilises them.