I would like to introduce you to a special bee called Austroplebia Symei. These are an interesting bee and not too much is written about them so I thought I would make a post about them and maybe even do the odd update.
Austroplebia Symei are a clever bee and are survivalists.
From observing the bees you will notice that they appear to be slow moving bees inside the hive. This is to conserve energy. As opposed to Tetragonula species, which are very fast moving within the hive, these bees take their time in building structure. Austroplebia symei in the field are a different bee all together and are known for their superior foraging and pollination abilities. They are fast and accurate flyers, often making it into the hive hole going full speed.
Austroplebia Symei Brood
Symei build their brood in a large cluster. Most often when placed in a box they will move their brood to the top of the box and use the base box for storage of honey and pollen. Like Australis, they cluster both brood and honey together. Their brood is light coloured and most of their structure also. This is because this bee favours the use of Cerumen over tree resin as seen in Tetragonula species of resin bee. Symei brood is open and I have not see any involucrum placed over the brood yet.
Austroplebia Symei Drones
Drones have yellow legs and a yellow mark at the base of their thorax, at least that’s what I have observed. You can see him in the picture below.
Read a little about Symei in Megan Halcroft’s Thesis: Here