The Dawson’s burrowing bee (Amegilla dawsoni) is a species of bee that nest by the thousands in arid claypans in the Gascoyne.
It is one of the largest Australian bees. Each female bee digs her own solitary nest but as they aggregate in large communities it gives the appearance of colonies.
The larger males – called majors – aggressively patrol the areas where females emerge from their burrows and will compete in physical fights to mate with virgin or recently mated females. Smaller males – called minors (80% of the male population) – wait at the fringes of the emergence area and mate with females who are able to fly away unmated from the immediate vicinity of their nests.