"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Monday, 13 June 2011

Tiny Bees and a something spot Burnet Moth

A couple of days ago I took a morning off to go back to Paxton. It was lovely to see more bees… so many of the Tree Bee Bombus hypnorum… and some tiny tiny bees nesting in the most inconvenient place, right in the middle of the footpath. They are halictids of some kind I think and amongst them there also seemed to be some hylaeus bees, recognisable by the white marks on their faces.

They peep out of their holes waiting to see if the coast is clear..tiny bee head

… and come into land.. sometimes hovering. They have to check out if they have the right hole. This little bee has yellow legs ….

tiny bee

Other tiny bees laden with pollen would generally find their nest holes without any hesitation.

I saw tiny bees on the nearby bramble blossoms….

tiny bee 3

I cannot say what they are. If I have learnt one thing in my time of looking at bees, it is how very difficult it is for even experts to tell you what these tiny ones are, especially from not very clear photos!!  But for me it is enough to know they are there..and that some bemused visitors to Paxton Pits now know they are there.

And then I saw this strangely beautiful burnet moth just emerged from its chrysalis… 5 or 6 spot I don’t know which…


It is the embodiment of the quote I have on my sidebar

"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon

Tonight I am packing for Heligan….


C said...

Ooh I love teeny bees ... the one on the bramble flower looks very similar to the ones I've been seeing, this last two weeks ...

Anonymous said...

The bees in the sandy path are a species of crabronid wasp (Crossocerus sp. etc). What can appear as pale face markings are in fact shiney silver (or sometimes golden) hairs. Many bees and wasps like the consistency of compacted sandy soil for nesting, so are commonly found along well trodden paths or even where cars park. You can trample all over them and they'll just dig themselves out or in again.

sharp green pencil said...

Hi there Alan and C, Thanks for your comments and for putting me right about the crabronid wasps! amazing!! They bseemed to be sharing the nest site with the bees is the right?
I shall be looking more carefully now.. so much to learn .. so little time!