Species Of The Week Number 33: Marsham's Nomad Bee

Species of the Week #33: Marsham's Nomad Bee
There are an amazing 270 species of bee in the UK. They break down into families. One of the families is the Apidae. 34 of the Apidae family are Nomad bees. Nomad bees are the closest we get to having a cuckoo in Meanwood.

Cuckoo's are famous for laying their eggs in the nests of other birds, leaving the host parents to feed the young cuckoo. Nomad bees are their equivalent in bee world, exhibiting the trait known as kleptoparasitism.
Marsham's Nomad Bee is one of them.

The female Marsham's Nomad Bee will first sniff out and evaluate the nest of its quarry. When the nest is unoccupied it sneaks in and lays its egg. When the egg hatches into a larvae the larvae kills the host egg, and devours the pollen and nectar store which the host has collected for its own, now dead, youngster.

It is not surprising that we can encounter Marsham's Nomad Bee in Meanwood because it specifically targets the nests of the Chocolate Mining Bee of which we also have plenty. Unfortunately the presence of the Chocolate Mining Bee is not because we have secret chocolate mines underneath the fields of Sugarwell Hill - but because the bee is chocolatey-coloured. The Chocolate Mining Bee likes to nest in walls.

Nomad bees look more like wasps than bees. The Marsham's Nomad Bee's distinctive black and yellow abdominal stripes are important in identification. The second of those yellow stripes (start counting from its head end) is split with black in the middle of the yellow. This is important as it distinguishes it from its otherwise identical cousin, the Gooden's Nomad Bee.

Final bee fact: Only the female bees can sting.

Publicado el 10 de mayo de 2023 por clunym clunym


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