Filler Photos

I’ve been distractingly busy with work this week, so no in-depth post today. Just some filler photos of a bee I encountered in Tahoe National Forest. As you can see from the orange on her hind legs, she is busy collecting pollen to feed her young.

small bee foraging on Ranunculus (c) 2012 MRS

(Ranunculus is the scientific name for the buttercup genus, in case you were curious.)

I’m not sure what type of bee this is, because I didn’t collect her for identification (after all, she’s working so hard to feed her family). Based on the fuzzy thorax and the style of striping on the abdomen, I think it might be in the genus Andrena. Andrena is a fairly diverse group of mining bees, or bees that build their nests underground. Unlike honeybees, bumble bees, and some sweat bees, all members of this genus are solitary. Each female excavates and provisions her own nest; there is no hive or queen. Or a more fanciful way to look at it would be to think of each female is the queen of her own solitary kingdom.

(c) 2012 MRS

See you next week!


4 responses to “Filler Photos

  1. What a hard working little mother bee, I can certainly relate! Beautiful photos.

  2. Beautiful photographs! Stupid question: do bees hibernate in the winter? Hopefully you will discover some interesting species in our neck of the woods.

    • Most bees only come out when it is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit because otherwise they are too cold to fly (bees are coldblooded). I don’t know if hibernate is the right word, but bees typically weather out the winter in nests (underground, in twigs and stems, etc.), either as pupae or adults. The bees that were out this Spring, Summer, and early Fall are all dead but their offspring are waiting for the return of warm weather.

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