Parasitic bees are not cool!

A few years ago, I was extremely disappointed to find out that there are parasitic bees. Every year, I had Solitary Mining Bees returning to the garden and I used to watch them diligently dig their holes. They would spend each day flying to and from their hole with bags of coloured pollen on their legs. One day, I saw a red insect also go in and out of the holes and I retrieved the computer. Unfortunately, the insect was a parasitic, female Sweat Bee – they do not collect pollen and they lay their eggs in the nests of other bees (their larvae eats the larvae of the other bee!)

mining-bee-tucked-inside-her-burrow

To make the story worse, the following day I found an injured black and white Bumblebee. Once again, I retrieved the computer and found out that this too was a parasitic species of bee. I left it to its natural fate. These types of bees are called Cuckoo bees after their nest-stealing nature.

sweatbee

 

Image 1 : lakecountynature.com

Image 2 : http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=1521

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