The birds and the bees, Valla, 25 Nov
Birds and bees are both miraculous. Australian native bees can be found in most of our diverse habitats. Australia has over 1,500 species of native bees. Only ten are stingless and these are the native honey-producing bees (Tetragonula – previously called Trigona – and Austroplebeia).
See Aussie Bee for info. Here is a stingless bee carrying pollen balls:
Square-leaved grass tree (Xanthorrhoea johnsonii) is the grass tree native to this region, also called Northern grass tree. It is very light on spectacle compared to other species of Xanthorrhoea, but the flowers catch the early light and attract the native bees.
“As humans, we dream of flight. When we imagine superior beings, we give them flight. Superman can fly, and so can angels. For us, it’s all about bird envy. Even after decades of writing about wildlife, I’ve never quite got over how the forces of evolution came up with something as wonderful, as perfect, as the feathers that enable them to take flight. With warm-blooded, well-fuelled, high-energy bodies, birds have mighty, four-chambered hearts and brains that are infinitely more developed than those of the reptiles from which they’re descended. As a result, they have adopted a vast series of complex and difficult lifestyles.” Simon Barnes, ‘birds are FAR more miraculous than man’, 13 Oct 2014