Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Aliens in my garden

Looking like an alien from outer space as it emerges from its nest burrow, this solitary bee takes in the view from its new home in my garden. I am not sure of the species or even the genus, bees are difficult animals to identify. Its a solitary mining bee in flight in May so possibly the early mining bee Andrena scotica or is it a leafcutter bee of the genus Megachile? Whatever it is, it did seem to be enjoying itself excavating its new nest.


  1. Great captures and well spotted. I normally only find them after the badgers have dug out the nest - they are very partial to the bumblebees in this area.

    Glad to hear that it isn't only me that has trouble identifying bees - the ones I see never seem to be identical to any in the books.

  2. A fascinating blog with great photos! Lovely ones here of the bee and I also enjoyed your mosaic on the previous post.

    Your earlier apple blossom photos are delightful and I see we have the Einstein quote in common (I have it on my sidebar) :)

  3. Love the shots of your bee, Kevin.

    A good sign that your garden is a healthy environment for critters to come and burrow.

    Well done.

  4. Great shots you captured there.

    As leaf cutters are more like mason bees - and can be found living side by side in nesting tunnel habitats - I would go more for your Andrena identification. Plus I heard that the latter are sometimes noted for their white abdomen bands (very clear in the last photo).

    How would you describe the sort of soil they emerged from, and which direction were their tunnels entrances facing (if on a bank)?


  5. Thanks for that info Paul - you obviously know your bees! The soil is kind of dry and sandy and the entrance is facing south.