Blue Bee

Nomia amabilis

Blue Bee

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A close up photo of nomia amabilis, sweat bee blue bee in south africa
Nomia amabilis is a short-tongues, medium-sized sweat bee (Halictidae). It has long legs and baby blue banding on its abdomen. It is supposedly a solitary species of bee, but nests in aggregate groups of multiple females. Blue bees are indigenous to Southern Africa. They excavate nests in clay soil, away from the sun. They are an excellent pollinator of cucurbits! The nests will appear like tiny mounds in the soil. They're attracted to various habitat types but will only nest in clay-type soil in shaded areas. Sometimes they'll re-use old termite nests.
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Great to observe if you are lucky enough to see one.
A rare solitary bee.


Adults: These sweat bees are easily distinguished. They possess black bodies. Long, white/blue hair covers the face and thorax. They possess distinct, pale blue lateral banding on the abdomen. The wings are large and tinted grey. The antennae are also grey, becoming wider at the tips. They reach just over a centimetre (1.3cm). Larvae and Eggs: These reside in the burrows which are dug by the females. A female will leave enough pollen and nectar to last larvae the entirety of development.


Tiny holes or mounds may be evident on the surface of the ground. They may nest in lawns.











South Africa

Biological treatment

It's not suggested to treat gardens for bees. Try attracting them to your garden by planting indigenous plants, and leaving those weeds to grow a little longer than usual. Try cutting down on your pesticide use, or let some areas of the garden become a little wild.

Chemical treatment

Bees are extremely sensitive to 'bug-killing chemicals'. It's not advised to treat flowering plants because the bees can be affected even if they weren't intended to!


This species is a particular fan of cucurbits.
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