17 January 2008

Native Bees

On my daily walk around the garden, camera in hand, I spotted something a little odd about a grass head hanging out over the dam. I knelt down to take a closer look - I could see a lot of bugs, shield bugs maybe, clustering on the tip of a paspalum flower stalk. I leaned it close, perilously, as the edges of the dam are soft and the stalk was over the water. I thought I was snapping another shot of common orangy bugs which seem to spend their lives locked in a loving embrace.
Fortunately nothing untoward occurred and I was able to snap a lot of photographs; my actions didn't seem to bother the "bugs" at all.
When the photographs were download I was very surprised. They were bees!

Tiny little bees, difficult to see properly even with the aid of my glasses, with sweet little sheep-like faces. I was so excited I made my husband stop what he was doing and come and see. He, long suffering fellow that he is, joined me and then

became just as excited. They were just so appealing, clustered along the stem as they were.

By the time I had rounded him up some time had elapsed and they had begun to disperse. He relieved me of the camera and took a couple of shots (the one with only three bees is one of his).

I don't know where all the bee experts have their information on the web, because I've searched, and had no luck identifying these little fellows. I read somewhere that there is a species of native bee that congregate together overnight and then disperse once they warm up in the morning, and I suppose that is what my bees were doing.
Sadly I have never seen them again.

That is why I walk around the garden at least twice a day, camera in hand - you just never know what you will spot.

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