Insects | Megachile aurifrons > nesting | capping the nest | opportunity knocks | pollen | private moments | red eyes | five eyes | resin | squatting | new life | bee video | sequel

The Megachile aurifrons is commonly known as the Golden-browed Resin Bee. With it’s distinctive white banding on black abdomen, golden brown brow and red eyes, this bee is interesting to watch when it is nesting.

As a solitary native bee, they seek out empty nesting holes, such as found in the mud nests of potter wasps. When they find the vacated nesting hole, they go about examining it and once selected, they prepare the nest with efficient diligence.

In the following video the Golden-browed Resin Bee is seen cleaning out the hole of dirt, before flying off to collect pollen to bring back to the nest.

Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons), Alice Springs, NT (video min:sec 03:00)

In the following video, the same Golden-browed Resin Bee is preparing the nesting hole below the hole in the video above. The bee is lining the nest with pollen. The pollen is brushed off the abdomen into the nest. You can see traces of pollen on the head of the bee when it comes out of the hole and then enters the hole backwards, before flying away.

Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons), Alice Springs, NT (video min:sec 02:07)

In the following series of images (in another hole in the same mud nest structure), another Golden-browed Resin Bee is lining her nest with pollen.

Preparing the nesting hole will necessitate the Golden-browed Resin Bee to make several journeys to collect more pollen to line the nest with. The pollen is collected on the abdomen, although you can often see pollen on the rest of the bee’s body including the head, especially when it is depositing it within the nest.

In the following series of images we used the mobile flash, so we can get a glimpse into the nest after the Golden-browed Resin Bee flies off to collect more pollen.

The following series of photos is the same nesting hole of the Golden-browed Resin Bee slowly being filled with pollen, before being capped with resin, created from a mixture of plant matter and bee secretion.

Once the Golden-browed Resin Bee has filled the hole with food for the young, they lay the egg and then seal the opening of the nest with resin. In some of the images on this page, you can see some of the resin capped holes.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Megachilidae
  • Genus: Megachile
  • Species: M. aurifrons
  • Binomial name: Megachile aurifrons