30 March 2012

Good Bee News

 The cute little bees who nest in the ground have forgiven me my heavy handed weeding (see here).  I'm pleased to see they have come back and are now busy digging holes in my lawn. Although it has to be said they have moved their location a metre further from last year's decimated nesting site.

As per normal practice I’ve rooted around on Google and can fairly confidently declare these little ladies are, Tawny Mining Bees.  Their Latin name, Andrena Fulva, sounds to me like that of a devious  Roman woman in ‘I Claudius’, or ‘Rome’.

These are solitary bees that excavate quite long burrows.  Being small and furry it’s easy to think them a harmless little bee, but there is a scheming cruelty to them. Deep in the burrows they lay a single egg on a paralysed insect, which the baby bees feed on when they hatch.   Of course, it’s not the bees that are cruel but our prejudice that makes them appear so.  Once again, Nature is indifferent to the individual.

Here are some pictures of their nesting site, but, honestly, it’s very difficult to take an interesting picture of a hole in the ground.  Humour me. 

Round paving area where the fire goes

“Not a single one of the cells that compose you knows who you are, or cares.”