The Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes) remains active (particularly females) and are now visiting the wider range of plants that are available - lavender is very popular. However, these have probably been outdone on the activity stakes by the Tawny Mining Bee Osmia rufa. These have spent the last week or two mining soil from the damper parts of the garden (there's a flurry of activity when the garden has been watered) and taking it to the bee log where the drilled holes have been well used. These contain cells formed in sequence with the entrance sealed with packed soil. I shall await the appearance of the early summer generation soon; the log will be stored in the shed to over-winter from late September until being hung up again in the spring to await emergence of the next generation. Not only that, but they are great pollinators, especially of fruit trees, and our garden has apple, peach, quince and cherry either in or adjacent to it.
|Female Osmia rufa basking on a paving slab - note the short prongs on the face just below the antennal bases; these are used to tamp mud into place.|
|Back to the log|
|Spot the completed holes - and the retreating bee-bottom just right of centre|
|Another bee-bottom, this time approaching a clematis flower|
|A specimen of Bombus terrestris found deceased - note the sting rarely deployed in life|
|A small bee, possibly of the genus Lasioglossum|
|Bee caught in flight; probably Andrena haemorrhoa|
|Nomada fabriciana - note the red and black antennae (and the unwanted household fluff)|
To finish, a couple of days ago I found another specimen dead on the window-sill - this has just been ID'd as the common small bee Lasioglossum calceatum - enjoy the images...
|Dorsal view of L. calceatum|
|Wing veins - on the forewing, vein 2m-cu is weakly S-shaped and does not bulge outwards at the rear end. Hence this is not a species of Colletes. Also, the cross-veins become thinner towards the wing-tip and the basal vein is strongly curved.|
|Abdominal tip (5th tergite) with the small teardrop-shaped area surrounded by dense hairs. Pale flattened hairs at the side of the segmental bases.|
|A bit out of focus, but clearly with pollen-collecting structures (scopa)|