Bee of the Month

Bee of the Month for November

Dawson’s burrowing bee

Scientific name: Amegilla dawsoniDawson's burrowing bee

Hometown: Western Australia

Favorite Season: Springtime (in the Southern Hemisphere)

Hobbies: Spelunking

Traits: Biggest, baddest bee in Australia & a fast flier

Life history: Solitary, univoltine (one generation/year), ground-nesting bee. Females form massive nesting aggregations of over 10,000 nests in bare, red, clay-like soil.

Behavior: Mating involves “scramble competition” in which males aggressively grapple with each other for access to recently emerged, virgin females. Large males generally displace small males so small males patrol the perimeter of the nestsite in the hopes of finding a female who has escaped the advances of their larger brothers. This massive solitary bee was featured in Sir David Attenborough’s series “Life”.

You can make your own “Bee of the Month” button to take home
and learn more about our Bee of the Month every Friday at 4 pm.
Our museum educators will be on hand to answer any questions
you might have about the wonderful world of bees.


Come see the Bee of the Month at Bees! Diversity, Evolution and Conservation at the Museum of the Earth September 27, 2019 – June 1, 2020. Explore a realm often overlooked – the incredible world of bees! Investigate bees ancient origins, their immense diversity, and the ever-evolving drama between flowers and pollinators.

This exhibit was developed and designed in conjunction with Bryan Danforth, Chair and Professor of the Department of Entomology at Cornell University and author of the book, The Solitary Bees: Biology, Evolution, Conservation. The exhibit was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Tompkins County Tourism Program.