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1279 Views 7 Replies Last post: Jul 7, 2012 12:05 PM by PaddyWatts RSS
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Jul 2, 2012 10:04 AM

Please identify this bee

We saw this solitary bee yesterday sunning itself on the wall. It had grey hair on its head and a completely black body. I stroked it's head to see if the grey was some sort of dust but it seemed to be the hair colour. Can anyone identify it?P1030036.jpg

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    Jul 4, 2012 8:13 AM (in response to PaddyWatts)
    Re: Please identify this bee

    To me it looks like it is covered in mud. Like this one or this?

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          Jul 4, 2012 9:02 PM (in response to PaddyWatts)
          Re: Please identify this bee

          I'm no expert of bees or their lifes (and no expert on anything else), but:

           

          Consider an Andraena cinerarea. It is crawling out of its hole in the ground (I have no idea of the weather in Britain that day, I live in rainy Sweden - but it's worse in Norway, of course, as everything is) and gets mud on itself. It gets more mud on the front end, naturally (I can explain why!), and it also get more mud on the hairy parts than on the smooth parts (which I also can explain). Now, can you see the three bands on the "thorax"!? Light (muddy on pale hairs), dark (less muddy because less hairy and dark hairs) and light (muddy on pale hairs) again? I don't say that it is a (muddy) Andrena cinerea identified with any certainty at all, because I know nothing about Hymenoptera - it was just an example. And there are Hymenopterans that use existing holes like structures in walls and it can of course have emerged from such a hole, if t is such a species. But, I still consider it mud in a wide sense.

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    Jul 4, 2012 8:32 PM (in response to PaddyWatts)
    Re: Please identify this bee

    My first thought on seeing it was that it's been feeding on nectar of Himalayan Balsam - it's notoroius for given them a good dusting. I guess it would come off easily though - although what if the bee was wet with dew? Did you photograph it in the morning? Anyway see -

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pollylew/6153769709/

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