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B&B open for business

January 9, 2020

I am still in awe of the discovery made last year that the building in which I live, now known as the Blue-banded B&B, houses a veritable condominium of Blue-banded Bee apartments. It is also very frustrating because though crumbling lime mortar may (and does) provide great places for these natives bees to build their tunnels, the fact that they are there means I cannot repoint the brickwork to stabilise the building structurally.

This summer I have been eagerly awaiting the return of the Blue-Banded Bees (Amegilla sp.) checking the favoured east wall daily to see if they had come back. Nothing…….until New Years Day. On January 1, all of a sudden it seemed like every B-B Bee in the world decided to turn up and choose their chunk of real estate for this year (pictured below). And accompanying them were the attendant Cuckoo Bees (Thyreus sp.) and Gasteruptiid Wasps (Gasteruption sp.), all eager to lay their own eggs in the B-B Bee cells.

Chequered Cuckoo Bee (left)

There is much I don’t understand here. I sort of get that there is an environmental signal (temperature? humidity? planetary alignment?? sun spot activity???) that says to the B-B Bees it’s time to visit the Butter Factory. In fact other blogs have discussed the sudden annual arrivals (& departures) of other fauna in our district such as Mayflies and Feather-horned Beetles. But for the entourage of predators to turn up on the same day is astounding.

Nature is a wonderful but mysterious thing. More observation is needed!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Valerie Tepper permalink
    January 9, 2020 9:32 am

    Love your posts. Each one is a complete short story of multiple dimensions Contributing to a delightful mini series. 🥰

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