There are over 1650 known bee species in Australia, and based on the rate of new discovery it is estimated that the true number may be between 2000 and 2500.
While the charismatic, highly eusocial stingless bees have become the rock stars of the bee world, and a handful of solitary bees like blue banded bees and teddy bear bees have become popular B-grade celebrities, most of our bee species get paid very little, or no attention. The forgotten are often broadly lumped together as ‘the solitary bees’.
But Australia’s bees are not simply highly eusocial stingless bees or solitary bees. Sociality in bees is a scale, and there are various important social categories between the two extremes of solitary and highly eusocial. This includes communal behaviour, and various forms of semi-sociality. In addition to having diverse forms of sociality, Australia’s bees also have a range of different nesting behaviours.
In this talk Tobias will take us on a journey beyond the stingless bees and the bee-hotel-bubble, to introduce the full glory of the five bee families represented in Australia. At the same time, Tobias will give an overview of bee sociality and show the diverse nesting strategies displayed by bee species around SEQ and beyond. He will also touch on the conservation of bees in human dominated landscapes.
Tobias Smith is a bee researcher, educator and stingless bee keeper based on the Gold Coast. As a researcher Tobias is based part-time at the University of Queensland, and collaborates with researchers from a range of other institutions.
Tobias’s research interests focus on wild bees in agricultural landscapes, crop pollination by native bee species, and native bee diversity and ecology. As an educator Tobias presents native bee and pollination workshops to community groups and schools, primarily through his business Bee Aware Kids. In addition, Tobias teaches full-day stingless beekeeping training workshops on behalf of Sugarbag Bees. As a beekeeper Tobias keeps stingless native bee hives around south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales, and helps to manage many more as a stingless beekeeping consultant.
No need to book, just turn up on the night.
When: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
Time: 6:45PM for 7:00PM Start
Where: ‘The Cove Room’, Currumbin RSL, 165 Duringan Street, Currumbin
Cost: FREE! (Don’t forget, you can buy a meal there before the talk.)