Heard of the night parrot? I bet you have. What about night bees?? Yes, there are nocturnal and crepuscular (fly at dawn and dusk) bees!! And yes, they collect pollen and nectar and do the things that day-flying (diurnal) bees do. But in the dark! All bees have three little spherical structures on their heads called ocelli, which are like little extra eyes that help them see and orientate. Compared with day bees though, night bees have much larger ocelli, relative to their head size, which is one of the traits that enable them to fly in low light. In the photos below are one nocturnal bee (Megalopta centralis) and one crepuscular bee (Rhinetula dentrictus) from Panama. These I encountered while light trapping in rainforests there. They were attracted to light just like moths. Here in Australia we have one bee species, Reepenia bituberculata (QLD), which is believed to be a night flyer? It has enlarged ocelli, but no one has actually observed it flying at night. Elusive? The elusive night bee of Queensland…?!!
10/10/2016 11:26:14 pm
Thanks for this information. Tonight for the very first time, we have a collection of what appears to be 100 or more buzzing bees at our back porch door. We live in Parker, Arizona USA a desert farming community with alfalfa fields all around us. This is quite strange to find these bees clustered here and nocturnal. Not sure how to proceed with getting them gone.
12/31/2020 04:17:08 am
Good reading yyour post
1/12/2021 05:51:10 pm
I discovered these bees the hard way. Was stung by one last night while putting out the wheelie bin.
9/1/2022 07:25:27 pm
I think I found like four or more of these bees but the ones at my house are huge I'm allergic to bee stings and they scare me they come from the dark areas and I hear them and freak out don't know how to get them away from my house I don't wish to kill bees but don't want them near my house any ideas please help thanks.
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These are a collection of posts that have appeared on the Bee Aware Brisbane Facebook page over the last couple of years.