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… as I was picking at the Passion vine a couple nights ago, just before dark, picking off dead leaves and checking for resting or sleeping creatures and ready fruit I noticed a curious thing.
One of the leaves I picked was long dead and brown, dried out and curled up, but as it plunged to the ground where it would join in the mulch a bunch of tiny bees fell out and spilled around, almost unnoticed, about 20 of them.
I didn’t know they were bees until I took a few shots, being only 12 to 15mm long – my eyes not that good anymore, if ever they were. Then I put what I could find at the base of the vine’s stem and threw on a few more leaves for cover on the cold night, to increase their chance of survival, having disturbed it myself.
Apparently they are all males (by the white 'lip') and the nest should be nearby but I couldn't track them to find out. Now they are so few after two weeks rain.
A communal bee where the females share nesting sites with little or no hierarchy - http://www.padil.gov.au/pollinators/Pest/Main/138358