Some more bees ;-))

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

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Henk Wallays
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Some more bees ;-))

Post by Henk Wallays »

To remain with the bees , here's another one a French cuckoo bee, which I was able to photgraph when I was in France for holydays : Coelioxys argentea

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And here's another more common bumblebee from overhere Bombus pascuorum enjoying the Salix ( an important early blossoming plant which delivers lots of nectar and more important pollen for the larvae )

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LordV
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Post by LordV »

Lovely captures- esp like the cuckoo bee shot
Brian V.
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MarkB1
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Post by MarkB1 »

Lovely shots. First is a beauty.

georgetsmurf
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Re: Some more bees ;-))

Post by georgetsmurf »

Great bee shots. Are these bees both native to where you have photographed them. Bees, when introduced to other areas can be very clever at forraging while not really contributing to pollination. Especially Apis melifera (common honey bee). The french cuckoo bee looks like a close relative to me.
Cheers George.

Harold Gough
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

Re: Some more bees ;-))

Post by Harold Gough »

Henk Wallays wrote:And here's another more common bumblebee from over here Bombus pascuorum enjoying the Salix ( an important early blossoming plant which delivers lots of nectar and more important pollen for the larvae )
Yes, from the shape of the catkin, it is what we, in the UK, call Goat Willow, Pussy Willow or Great Sallow Salix caprea. It gives huge amounts of pollen very early in the season. Although honeybees need a balanced diet of pollen and nectar coming into the hive for brood production, the bumble bee queen has a major need for pollen in the first instance and makes a huge heap of it in her nest and lays here eggs on top of it and broods the first generation herself.

The queen also constructs a "honey pot" where she stores nectar for her own use. As I understand it, bumble bees do not process nectar into honey but use it much in the state it was in when collected. At least one reason for this is that they don't need overwintering stores due to their hibernation as mated queens.

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

Henk Wallays
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:31 am
Location: Aalter, Belgium
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Post by Henk Wallays »

Hai Harold, thanks for the info/feedback ; I'm no expert on honeybees but try to study and do inventories our wild bees overhere. The need for pollen and nectar is indeed quite different between solitary bees and honeybees. In solitary bees both adults eat/drink the nectar mainly for own use (energy) , the pollen is mainly used as food storage in the nests and is laid aside the (single) egg in the nest . This is why on blossoming male willow you will mainly discover females which collect the pollen for the nests. The males will be more abundant on flowering plants and will stake out on twigs and other open places in order to spot females and trying to mate with them. Since females are easier to id to species I thus stand mostly around males willows picking out the ones which look different ... and eacht year I have been able to id more species ( with the help of some specialists ) and learn more about them.

So it are mainly the female wild bees which visit both male and female plants and do a pretty good pollination taks. In honeybees the workers seem to be more specialised in their tasks and there are workers who fetch nectar and others who do pollen... so it looks like pollination might be lower ...

Anyway for the ones interested there's a great article on the economic value of insects all together (and bees make a good part of the studies ... ) "The Economic Value of Ecological Services Provided
by Insects" by JOHN E. LOSEY AND MACE VAUGHAN , Bioscience vol 56 (nr 4) p 311/324.
If interested inform me, I have a copy.

And before this starts to be an ecological forum , here's another shot another wild bee

Andrena flavipes ( male ) , like most mining bees an early flying species

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and here's the bee species the French cuckoo bee was interested in ( on the same Echium plant) ==> Anthidium florentinum , which mimicks a wasp ..
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And to close a very seldomn found mining bee , for which we found a colony in our regio Andrena nycthemera. so far it is the only place in Belgium where they were recorded... Hoping to extend the images this spring with less noisy shots ;-)))
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Harold Gough
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

Post by Harold Gough »

One thing I forgot about honeybees and pollen: Unlike honey, which stores for very long periods in good condition, pollen stored in the hive needs a reasonably high turnover. Any stored in the comb for very long periods. especially overwinter, gets rather mouldy and the bees chuck it out.

For those unfamiliar with honeybee nest layout:

The pollen is stored adjacent to the brood, in the same comb or, latterally, nearby ones, with honey further out on the brood combs, on the outer combs and, in artificial hives, on combs above the brood box during the main foraging season.

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

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