The warmer summer weather brings a lot of native insect activity, particularly the many native bees we get here in Western Australia. We have seen quite a few different kinds over the years, blue banded bees, resin bees, leaf cutter bees and these masked bees. Today, I set the camera on a tripod n front of the latest bee hotel, pressed record and returned 15 minutes later to find the top hole completely sealed. The video is amazing, really showing the perseverance of this small insect (it is alas too big to post, so a snippet of the end is all that we can post).
Video of masked bee sealing nest
Over the years we have seen the circular holes made by the leafcutter bee, but for the first time we had the camera on hand and photographed this amazing native bee in action making a nest inside a hole in the mortar between the bricks of our house. the location is a surprise, as it is right by the spade and tap that we use regularly in our front garden!
Heading for the hole with its neatly cut piece of leaf
Entering its nest
Twisting upside down to get into position
Leaving the nest ready to cut the next piece of leaf
It was a fascinating process to watch! It took about 5-10 minutes to source and cut the leaf (not sure where from as it seemed to fly over the house). This is despite a rose bush being right next too it, which is often used and had some of the tell tale circular holes cut in it already. Once it entered the nest, it took about a minute or two before it flew back out.
It has been great to have some free time over the Christmas break to wander around our block with camera in hand. Here are just a few photos of what we have seen this past week or so……
Rainbow bee eater amongst the greenery
Pair of Red-capped parrots
Bee fly (a native fly that mimics bees)
bird of prey
It is so important not to just work, work, work- even though there is never ‘nothing to do’! Sometimes, it is great to just wander around the garden, camera in hand or not, and see what there is to see. This Painted Jezebel kept hanging around the mistletoe on one of our wattles. After watching it for a while, it settled in laid eggs! It was fascinating to watch, and a really good reminder to just enjoy the moment.
There are a few different native bees around too, especially now the weather is warming up. They like the old nail holes in wooden beams!
Native bee peeping out of the hole
We have seen a few different types of case moth- this is the latest:
And of course there are always those we see with no camera at hand- like the Blue Banded Bee. One day we will get a nice photo of it!
We have had so many Wanderer (also called Monarch) butterflies around lately! They are just beautiful to watch as they fly around in their leisurely way. This one seemed to be looking for a place to settle for the night, as it eventually closed up its wings and stayed very still.