Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 12. Day 71. Two bees or not two bees

I spent quite some time this afternoon just watching bees, two of them.
There is no good explanation for this type of bee-haviour except to say these were some sort of bees on steroids. They were huge, the type of bees that until this point I assumed would only exist in a horror film when a nuclear accident had led to a swarm of killer mutant bees. But my good friend Dr Google set me straight. These were Great Carpenter Bees, the largest in the country and not only that they were female. This is a most impressive (but totally useless piece of information). Impressive because the female is far more attractive than the male which quite frankly is only fair but far too rare in the animal kingdom. The great beauty is so often wasted on males. It is also impressive because, let's face it, Australia is particularly blessed when it comes to large, scary and dangerous bugs and creepy crawlies but until this point I can't recall ever seeing or hearing about giant carpenter bees. Dr Google says they grow to about 24 mm which makes them the type of bee you would want on your basketball team, or as it happens in your buzz pollination team.  "Great Carpenter Bees are excellent buzz pollinators," Dr Google says. "They curl their bodies around the pollen capsules and vibrate their muscles to release trapped pollen."
Also, they are incredibly noisy when they go about their business.
So really, the behaviour of this bee seems just a little bit like what happens in my house. It's the female who's doing the bulk of the food gathering but just in case the males around the place may forget the fact I am quite determined to make a lot of noise about it. Also I am huge but normally well attired. And there's a sting in my tail. You might get honey. You might get stung. Life, I'm afraid, is like that. Bee good boys


  1. oh wow they are by far the most beautiful pictures i have seen in a while the detail is fantastic x

  2. they dont have stripes like British bees, but what a great close up picture, I use to love sitting on a big roack in amongst the lavender just watching the dozens and dozens of bees. I thought only male bees worked.

  3. they are massive bees indeed - all that juicy pollen filling them up maybe! i love how you associate their busy lives with us women!!! made me chuckle and nod my head x

  4. Absolutely fabulous pictures and I love your take on the male/female comparisons of bees and people - brilliant!

  5. Wow, they are amazing and there's no stripes! I didn't know that was possible with bees.

    Thanks for linking up to Project 365.