Sunday, November 7, 2010

Acrobatic bee!

James and I ventured outside awhile ago to sow a few seeds and check out the Wildscape. We were strolling past the mallow when I happened to notice this bee, apparently "asleep" but only hanging on by its mandibles! Naturally, I had to fetch the camera so I could document this strange behavior.

James helped hold the branch steady while I snapped away. After James left, I took a few more photos. Finally, the bee had enough, and I noticed that its abdomen was twitching. Sure enough, it buzzed away. But it came back and landed on a different branch.

For awhile, it fidgeted its back legs, and it seemed to be preening itself. Then it stopped and went back to sleep. I've uploaded photos to the experts at Bugguide.net. We'll see what they have to say....


P.S. I'm guessing it's a species of Anthophora...

UPDATE–This just in from Bugguide.net: Yes, my bee is an Anthophora californica...a male.

Also, "The 'sleeping' behaviour is called "roosting." I have observed several species of wasps and bees doing this the past year or so. It's really fun to watch a crowd of males roost together, although I think that generally occurs in the summer/early fall. As the weather turns colder, I have only seen individuals doing this. In fact, just today I found an Ammophila wasp roosting in a pine tree. As to what you have here, wait for an expert opinion..."

… Jon Hart, 7 November, 2010 - 4:31 p.m.

1 comment:

WaterMark said...

It's known as Amegilla - common name 'Blue banded bee' although with your the blue is not strong. They are solitary bees and attach themselves to a twig with their rear legs to sleep. As far as I knew they were only in Australia, SE Asia... !!??

Post a Comment