The olive bee-eater is found in the grassland and coastal mountain forests of East Africa and Madagascar, and an isolated population can be found in coastal Angola. They are partially migratory, and usually breed only in the southern portion of their range, moving north for the dry season in southern Africa. It lays four eggs in a burrow nest at the beginning of the southern African wet season, and the chicks usually hatch at the beginning of December. Unlike most bee-eaters, the species does not practice cooperative breeding and postfledging dependence is only around nineteen days, which is typical of temperate zone passerines and about half that of most Meropidae species.
- Olive bee-eater - Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds.