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