European Honey Bee
New Colony
Ellura
Eusocial Allodapine Bee
S2, Female, dorsal
 
                      
Eusocial Allodapine Bee (Exoneurella tridentata)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)
Order: Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)
Family: Long-tongued Bee (Bee: Apidae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Eusocial Allodapine Bee (Exoneurella tridentata)
This Photo:     🔍S1, Female, dorsal🔎

Thank you Asaph (asaph01) for identifying and Hamish Loader for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
1st Live Photo on-line:
~6mm long.
We were shocked to find that we had eusocial bees in SA. This means these bees have a queen & workers, like ants and European Honey Bees. They don't refer to them as having "hives", but colonies. We surmise this is because the colony consists of multiple nearby nests (made by weevil larva making holes). These bees are not able to make their own nesting holes. Only small colony sizes though, up to about 60 bees. Up until this find we believed the only queen bees were in Qld, and that all our local bees were single and each bred with a male. There are communal nesting bees which is a different type of society where there is no queen. Each of the females still breeds. Think of our Southern Australian Paper Wasps.
Their main known nesting tree is Western Myall (Acacia papyrocarpa), which isn't known this far east in SA. The other tree they are known to be used is Bullock Bush (Alectryon oleifolius). There are a few of these scattered several kms from here, but seems a long way to go to feed on our Dryland Teatree (Melaleuca lanceolata); which is where we found them. We suspect they are nesting in a different tree here.

Copyright © 2019-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 23-Nov-2019
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.