Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Some bee-haviour observations #1

This has been the second day of seriously scorching weather - 23 degrees today in the shade, in Leeds - a far cry from the wet and gloomy start to the season, and the heat resulted in some super-charged and speedy pollinators!  We've been out in gardens and parks today, and have seen a lot of little Nomada bees.  These are parasites on other bee species - they lay their eggs inside the nests of species like Andrena fulva.  Though they sport warning colours of yellow and dark brown, they weren't interested in us at all, and we were able to get quite up close and personal with some.  They were mostly flying low, and showing a lot of interest in the cracks in the paving in this very urban garden...

The reason came obvious when a dark brown Andrena flew in and disappeared down a nest hole on the edge of a spread of ornamental gravel - to be swiftly followed by one of the Nomadas.

Later, as we idled about on a grassy hillside enjoying some dappled shade, we spotted two more Nomada bees quartering the ground - perhaps they were looking for the nest of one of the silver-ruffed Ashy Mining Bees that was repeatedly returning to a nearby grassy tussock...

It occurs to me, that I must have been seeing at least some of these bees pretty much every Spring and Summer, for as long as I've been rambling about under sunny skies - but not realised what was in front of my eyes.  It seems you only need to start looking, and once you've seen one, you might just be lucky, and see many more :)

No comments:

Post a Comment