A new exotic bee species for Australia

18 Jan 2021 19:12 | Tim Heard (Administrator)

Australia has been invaded by the European wool carder bee. Anthidium manicatum. It is about the size of a honeybee but is a solitary species. It is a member of the family Megachilidae which includes the leaf cutter bees and the resin bees. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa but has spread to many other parts of the world including the Americas and New Zealand. Although it is so far confined to Victoria, given its record of spreading it is likely to turn up in new areas. Like its relative, the African carder bee, it prefers urban areas. Unlike our native leaf cutter bees, it scrapes plant fibres to line its nest which it builds in plant cavities. It collects those fibres from just one plant family, the Lamiaceae. So its distribution may be limited by the presence of these introduced European plant species. Read more at this website and download the pdf for a full review of this species by Ken Walker and his colleagues. https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/.../european-wool-carder-bee 

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