Monday, June 21, 2010

The Shaggy Bee

Maybe I'm just noticing a wider variety of bees, but this seems to be a good year for bee biodiversity in Vancouver. I was in my neighbor's fantastic garden and her tiny climbing roses were chalk a block with bumble bees and leaf cutters. This bee (a megachilid, I think) didn't look too healthy--it was all tuckered out, which meant I could take these photos. I've never seen a leaf cutter bee (if that's what it is) with such a bald back and REALLY hairy legs. I am assuming it is male pattern baldness. Anyone out there know if this is true? Usually I see leaf cutters with more delicate legs and they are really hairy under their abdomens.

You can see the scale here as it is perched on the top handle of a shovel. It's a bit larger than a honey bee and smaller than a large bumble bee.

These are the roses with their surprisingly dark pollen. The bumble bees were absolutely loaded down with the rust-colored pollen. This one is up to her elbows in it!

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