It’s been a long while since I’ve spotted a Teddy Bear Bee in my garden. With the onset of cooler weather, the general honeybee population is more obvious, making me grab the Nikon D3000, at long last.


I’ve been struggling to blog. It’s taken a long time to shake of the blues, and guilt, after putting our dear little Vika to sleep on 24th October, 2018.  I’m not there yet.


Forcing myself to blog didn’t work! It turned out that making my photos square and producing images for Beccy’s ‘words ending in light’ challenge was beyond me! I found myself reluctant to pick up the camera. Perhaps I just took too many on our travels. Thousands of unshared photos lurk on my hard drive! On a few attempts, I couldn’t decide which ones to share, so shared none.  I still intend to, though. I promised. Think I even crossed my heart on my writing blog. Ooops.


Since Christmas, I’ve said to myself, just another day on the family history binge before getting back into the swing of things. Two months have drifted by. Summer has come and gone, with my bit of the country unravaged by fire. A few smoky days was all we had. Now, as if constant reminders of the global warming threat aren’t enough, we have the coronavirus. (Not literally – yet.) Gosh, it’s hard not to feel like we’re on the cusp of the apocalypse and the end of civilisation is looming.


Anyway, here I am. I have to get all this shit out of my head. I’m wondering if everyone else is feeling this way, too, and it’s not just me.  The teddy bear bee prompted me to pick up my camera again, and come share it with you.

I ended up sharing more than that. Thanks for reading, if you did. Thanks for looking at my photos!


Bees & Bugs

Teddy Bear Bee visit!

Bees & Bugs

Amegilla bombiformis: Australian Teddy Bear Bee

  Wikipedia says (alongside a stunning photo):

Amegilla bombiformis, commonly known as the Teddy Bear Bee or Golden haired mortar bee, is an Australian native bee in the family Apidae.


Teddy Bear Bee, taken on my Nokia Lumia 520, cropped

LEFT: I’ve had two of these bees visiting my fake jasmine creeper for most of the week. When I first saw them I couldn’t believe my eyes – thinking they were European bumblebees. I was searching my conscience to see how I felt about failing to report them to the Department of the Environment when I recalled reading about our native teddy bear bees. Foreign bumblebees are kept from mainland Australia to keep our many smaller native bees safe. Our island State, Tasmania, hosts the pretty European.

On that first day,I followed my visitors around and around the jasmine for an hour without getting a single clear image, and if you look at the first You Tube video below from Aussie Bees you’ll see why. They just will not keep still long enough!

Aussie Bees is a handy site for bee identification.


Nokia Lumia 520, cropped

RIGHT: They have this weird habit of flying all bunched up like a ball, but sometimes they leave some legs hanging (that pale loop out front is a vine on the jasmine).

From the stripes, both the black ones and the hairless, I decided that they are the teddy bear bee, despite the whitish head. Perhaps they have been breeding with their close cousin, the blue-banded bee.

BELOW: A few of the the blue-banded ones are here, too, looking terrific when the blue glints in the sun! Again, so hard to catch them still long enough to photograph. They are smaller than the teddy bear, but still a very large bee.  You can just see the bluish tint in the image … just!

Teddy Bear Bee, taken on my Nokia Lumia 520, cropped

Blue-banded bee, taken on my Nokia Lumia 520, cropped

And another fascinating video from Aussie Bees.

I found that they sleep clustering on stems, holding on with their jaws, fascinating.


Teddy bear bee feeding. Nokia Lumia 520, uncropped.