Our Beautiful Blue Banded Bee
Anyone who has been following my posts on this site will know I have worked at making the garden a place for the little ones to visit, maybe even stay and nest. You will know the endeavour has been somewhat successful, weather permitting.
The other day I went about clearing away a years fallen palm leaves and on the way got to see places I don’t usually go. At one of those places, coming to dusk, I came upon a band of bees hovering, landing, taking of and doing it over and over – as BBB’s (and others) do.
So I sat and watched a while and – it came to pass – the place is a nest of males, where they rest out the night. I had seen females looking for suitable nest sites during the day. I have only so far seen this roosting behaviour in the fields by the rain-forest remnant – and was pleased to see it around the house, indeed.
After enough of the dark hours had passed and the bees were well enough asleep I went to see what could be done to get a few pix – which can be a disturbing affair, to the bees, and myself – because it often involves some disturbance of the environment they roost and in the prevailing climate they are warm enough to fly even though they can’t see to well in the dark.
And this is what happened. I was in position with various bits and pieces (necessary for night shooting) and had slipped some BG material in place to better show the bees off and one was spooked and flew off, then another. I kept track as much as possible and found one that has settled on some nearby dead banana tree stem – which I leave in place to break-down to form habitat and eventually humus – got a shot or two and left it in place.
I lost track of the other that was disturbed and just trusted it didn’t lose itself in the undergrowth and would be ok come morning and go about its little life – I’ll never really know. But when I finished and went back towards the house I heard this buzzing noise I usually only hear when I am close to a bee. And there was the second one, buzzing up to the exposed light-bulb – it had hitched a ride on my clothes.
I got a glass and a cap for it; improvised from available material I leave about, and set about capturing the little bee. It wasn’t too difficult, you just have to be careful not to injure it when slipping the cap on and containing it. When that was done I brought it back to the spot I had disturbed it from – a place that gets the early morning sun – and set it up so it would live out the night and even make its way back to it’s roosting mates.
And it all seemed to work out fine. The bee climbed out of the containing glass by the thin stick I left jutting out of it and leaning against a taller stem – its preferred roost – and it climbed and went back to sleep. I don’t tag them, obviously, but I trust he lived to work another day and maybe even learned something from the experience – don’t go flying at night, it’s only a photographer when the flash goes off. :)
And one I held a leaf behind for the BG.