Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Bees in ponds

When you think about a pond, bees do not normally spring to mind. Bees, however, need water. In sunny days honeybees travel in numbers to water sources to take water to cool down their hive, and they also use it to dilute honey to feed their larvae. These three were drinking by the edge of the pond in my local wildlife garden, near their hive.
On the other side of the pond edge there is a muddy site. Several female Red Mason Bees (above) were collecting mud to line and cap their cells. A female would dig up the mud and shape it with the  help of her jaws and two little facial horns into a little ball, and then fly to the nest holding the ball in her jaws. It took me a few attempts to get a half decent shot.
Osmia rufa female with her ball of mud

3 comments:

Phil said...

I've often seen wasps land on the duckweed on my garden pond for a drink. Once, I even saw a frog swallow one. It gulped and looked a bit thoughtful, but didn't spit it out.....

Blackbird said...

That's a good one! I saw a wasp today chewing the dry wood of a post near the pond. I bet they need water to make their papery nest. I wish I had enough space for a pond myself...

sharp green pencil said...

That is a wonderful shot of the osmia with her mud ball. I was fascinated to see them collecting mud near our cottage here. And the biggest thankyou for the plant ID!!It is such a wonderful colour and the bees love it!
Val