Sighting: Plasterer bee

Most of my time spend photographing is done close to home and exploring the area in and around ‘the gap’. Whilst there is a sense of familiarity here in photographing the same creatures and the same cycles of life each season, there are also occasionally a new sighting, piece of behaviour or encounter to capture to inject a little variety into life.

It was back in the height of summer when I spotted several of these bees feeding on the chamomile flowers, the same patch of flowers where I also discovered a bizarre two headed flower.

With a little help from a local wildlife group these tiny bees were identified as a member of the ‘colletes’ order. These bees nest in small holes in soil or sand, and they use a specalised secretion to smooth and solidify their nest walls, which gives this particular species it’s name, the ‘plasterer bee’.

The plasterer bee is small and delicate with a furry body and distinctive black and white striped abdomen. They also have specialised hairs on their rear legs to enable them to collect large amounts of pollen, the result is often a rather fetching pair of yellow trousers!

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2020

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