Archivos de diario de mayo 2022

23 de mayo de 2022

Andrena Bees

In 2020 I found an Andrena aggregation on mixed use land associated with the housing development I live in. We get to recreate there and the field is cropped annually for hay. For the first two years I have been observing the bees I thought they were some sort of bumble bee. During their spring swarm my wife and I saw what we take as spawning behavior. Small groups of bees would wad up in a little ball and wrestle around. Within 15 to 30 seconds they would break it up and go their separate ways no harm done. I was telling a friend about it and he reminded me that Bumble Bees do not have or tolerate that many queens in such a small area.

I took an incredible number of pictures trying to capture the details needed to identify the bees. Things were still very cool on April 14th in Centralia Wa. and the bees were climbing the grass to get better access to the sun when it finally came out from behind the clouds so they could warm up enough to fly. I was really confused by the way they climbed and crawled around on the grass at the time. Lots of pictures of that in the first observation I posted here. The genetic diversity of the bees I was looking at also confused me. I was just sure more than one species of bee was nesting there. I'm still having trouble convincing my self that these communities are segregated by species. The research literature about nest take overs says nothing that would support any enforcement that way either.

I sent pictures to the State Entomologist, an Entomologist specializing in Western species of Andrena, and every one else I could find. I finally got a reply from a USGS Entomologist who is studying east coast species who gave me the bad news. You have to send in dead bees to get an ID and he didn't know the west coast bees. He referred me here.

I've started making friends with wenatcheeb who has suggested I start a blog to talk about what I'm seeing. Still not sure how that will work. Some of my data collection is video and there is no provision for that here. Just still pictures and audio. It really doesn't quite make it.

Ingresado el 23 de mayo de 2022 por little_mousie little_mousie | 1 observación | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

26 de mayo de 2022


I was out at the near by Andrena aggregation making Bee movies again. I was kind of looking at how long Momma spent down inside the nest between foraging expeditions. The one bee I got a time on was about 20 minutes. While she was down there a Greater Bee Fly stopped and laid an egg at the rim of the nest so I expect her brood will be wiped out by the bee fly larva.

I figured out that if I set my camera up where there was a higher concentration of visible holes I'd see more bees in less time so Friday I'll probably walk down to the river aggregation and make a few more movies. One of the problems I've been having with knowing who is who out at the flowers is the way the pollen gets together with the rather sparse hair on the back of their abdomen under their wings. Makes it harder to tell the difference between them and the honeybees when they are moving quickly. In the 2nd video a bee will come almost straight down in the middle of the scene, rest for a few moments and fly almost straight back up. With the way I see thees bees acting around me it is probably the same bee that goes into the hidden nest at the end of the clip but I can't say that for sure. I had missed seeing any of this action while filming. You only have to look away for a second to miss all the action. There is a little Jumping spider below and to the left of the first bee if you are interested in spiders at all. Going full screen with the video will make the bees easier to see.

Ingresado el 26 de mayo de 2022 por little_mousie little_mousie | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de mayo de 2022

Pacific Digger Bees

I'm the first to admit Identifying Honeybees is difficult for me because of the diversity in outward appearance. Bumblebees are worse still and the publicly available documents are not very helpful.

Solitary bees seem to be as different in appearance as people. It is making me nuts.

Search iNaturalist for any of the solitary bees lets say Pacific Digger Bee Anthophora pacifica and you get so many different looking bees I want to pull my hair out and I don't have that much left. Ok so Anthophora pacifica is in the tribe Anthophorini. Maybe I have the male and female matched maybe I don't. Maybe the boy bees are as confused as I am.

Ingresado el 28 de mayo de 2022 por little_mousie little_mousie | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de mayo de 2022

Pondering stuff someone else has probably already studied

I've sat empty headedly watching the Andrena come and go from their nests. It seems like they will frequently do a fly over, land near by for a few moments do a little more flying around then land at the entrance to the nest and disappear down their hole as quick as they can. On the surface it just looks like they are finding the right little hole. Wouldn't want to get in trouble by walking in on your neighbor. But what if they are looking around for other trouble that might come knocking. It can be a rough neighborhood no mater where you live. Maybe some healthy paranoia is involved too.

Ingresado el 31 de mayo de 2022 por little_mousie little_mousie | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario