By: Michael Fox
Golden Penda Xanthostemon chrysanthus grows naturally in coastal rainforest in north Queensland from Townsville to Cape York. However, it is also happy growing in Brisbane although the spectacular flowering we have had this year is usual. The birds and bees are making the best of this unusual seasonal flowering.
I noticed a cloud of native Stingless Bees Tetragonula sp. today, around the neighbour’s Golden Penda. These tiny bees are smaller than a house fly so if you watch carefully you can see them sneak right into the centre of a flower to collect nectar. You will also see the pollen collected and stored on their back legs.
European Honey Bees Apis mellifera also love Golden Penda however they have trouble getting right in where the Stingless Bees go for nectar.
Rainbow Lorikeets Trichoglossus haematodus were making a racket while they also feasted on the nectar.