Friday, May 16, 2014

Beautiful Social & Solitary Bees

I had some extra baggies of honey so I put them on my robbing table a couple weeks ago.

On warm enough days when the bees were flying they'd come and rob out the honey.

I was very pleased to see about 10 species of bees show up at the robbing table.

It had been a cold spring and I know bees would be very hungry.

There was a wonderful invasion of this little black and white striped bee with yellow fuzz on it's thorax.  I have yet to identify what species but I think it might be either a mason bee or a leafcutter bee.

They must be stingless because I was picking them up to say hello and they didn't complain.

On cold days when bees were in a stupor I'd pick them up and warm them back to life in my hands. I did this with the little black and white striped bees very effectively.

They have strong little wings and make a loud buzz when they fly.

I fell in love with these little sweeties and now I want to know all about them. I wonder if I could raise them ... just for fun.

Last time I was at the yard I found what looked like a family of these bees under the rim of a pail I had turned on its side.

There were two full size bees and about three tiny ones.  I think the tiny ones were offspring of the larger bee but they may have flown to the pail.  I'm not sure.  It did have honey in it which would have been the original attractant and then the weather got colder.

I don't know if these are colony or solitary bees.

The Pines bee yard is on conservation land. A while back it was a gravel pit but now it's a lovely meadow of wildflowers and grasses complete with a large pond.

No fear of a "developer" here as the land is protected. There are so few places like this left. There were several fly-like bees with fly tongues and striped bodies that came by as well. It was very heartening to see these solitary and social bees.
It's a sign of a healthy area with a diversity of species.
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