Monday, 14 May 2018

My own chocolate bees

In recent weeks when I have been passing Ovingham, 15 miles away, I have stopped several times to see the bees in the wall, both Andrena scotica and Nomada marshamella.  Now the bees have come to see me.  In recent days I have found at least a dozen bees inside the dining room on the French windows.  I think they come in when the doors are open as they explore holes in the wall outside but I also think they are living in the wall of the house so it is possible they are getting in from the inside.  All those I have seen are female Andrena scotica, or chocolate mining bees.

Two bees were dead before I found them.  Here are a couple of  a close-ups of the scopa, the pollen brush on the bees' hind legs, showing the characteristic black and white hairs.  Although they are a bit dusty they show no pollen grains so I think these bees had not started foraging.

The good news for these bees is that I haven't seen their cuckoo bee, Nomada marshamella, so far.


  1. Lovely detailed photos, Chris. How appropriate that the chocolate bee has a marshmallow as its parasite.

    1. All bees have sweet tooth, Cherry, but those that mine chocolate are the worst.