Leioproctus fulvescens (Smith 1876)

REDUCED NZ-Ento-Soc-Insect-Playing-Cards_Native-BeeCommon name: Hairy colletid bees

Order: Hymenoptera   Family: Colletidae

Size: 5-12mm

You may be surprised to know that New Zealand has several of native bee species of its own. They’re generally smaller than the common honey bee and aren’t striped. But the thing that probably makes them most different from honey bees is that they don’t have colonies! As solitary bees, females dig nest holes in the ground. In each chamber, females lay just one egg and supply this underground nursery with pollen to feed the larva that eventually hatches.

Although you don’t see them as often as honey bees, native bees are very important pollinators of native flowers. We have multiple species of Leioproctus. The majority of them look like small black honey bees (Apis mellifera) except for L. fulvescens, a South Island species, which is covered in dense orange hair. The different species prefer different kinds of soil. L. fulvescens prefers fine-grained soil.

 


Resources:

T.E.R:R.A.I.N Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network (Last updated June 2016). Bee (Native) Genus: Leioproctus. Retrieved from http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/bees-and-wasps/native-bee.html