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Beekeeper Roberto Gallo

Burrowing Bee is one of the biggest bees in the world with a size as large as 2.6cm, compared to the honey bee which reaches 1.2-1.4cm. The Burrowing bee is a very rare species which lives in the western part of Australia and has a very unusual lifestyle.

The Burrowing bee builds nests in the ground. Even though it is rare, the colonies it forms can consist of up to 10 000 bees. There are only female and male bees in this bee species, while worker bees such as those in the honey bee species do not exist.

At times when young bees hatch, males go out first, circle around and wait for females to come out. After the females start coming out from the nest in the ground, males start their mutual “war”of annihilation in order to be the only one to fertilize the female and continue its species. This frenzy in males is increased by the pheromone secretion in females so that even before females leave the nest the male combat starts.

In this mutual combat of males it often happens that the very female over which the whole chaos has been created get killed. Same males of this species develop a special tactics in order to enter the mating phase without much effort and combat, but only few succeed since, due to a very strong interest, the mating begins soon after the female leaves the nest, so it does not “pay off”, so to put it, to wait behind, because after the mating is finished there are only females left in the world.

In the world of insects these phenomena are very rare and probably serve to ensure the mating of the strongest bees so that the species preservation is secured.


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