Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Small Surprise

On Sunday while I was admiring the pink developments advancing with age upon each of these golden yellow roses, I noticed a bee landing on one of them. I thought, "My daughter will be pleased to hear about this bee on one of her roses, since she has more than once expressed her fears about the decline in honey bee populations." But then instead of burrowing into the flower as I expected, the bee bit off a slice of the petal and flew away, clutching the severed bit with its feet. This startled me enough that I later remembered to check out petal-eating bees on the internet – where I discovered that certain species of solitary bees (who do pollinate the flowers but who do not live in hives) makes nests for their eggs out of bits cut from flower petals or leaves. Below are the best pictures I found of such a bee and such a nest, hitherto quite unknown to me.