Tag Archives: native bees

European Bees – introduced sound no. 2

The arrival of Spring has reinforced how quiet the months of Winter were. Now it seems as though every nook of the valley is alive with some type of sound. Normally Spring fills me with dread as I know the dripping humidity of Summer is not far away, but this year the sounds of life everywhere have kept this anxiety at bay.

For a while I have (unsuccessfully) tried to record the sound of bees. As they often congregate at the tops of flowering plants they can be inaccessible; and of course a desire to not get stung also keeps them out of reach. On the morning of this recording the bees were conveniently at head-level and seemed much too preoccupied with their own business to worry about a microphone being placed in their vicinity.

There are about 1,500 species of native bees in Australia. European bees were introduced here as native bees don’t live in large colonies and so fail to pollinate crops on a mass-scale. Interestingly the buzzing is not solely produced by their wings. It is thought that air passing through tiny holes in the segments of their abdomen contributes to the generation of this sound.

In this recording you can hear a microcosmic slice of life awakening in our valley: birds, crickets, cicadas, frogs, and of course the bees.