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Archive 2013 · Surprise, Surprise ...
  
 
MarkB1
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Surprise, Surprise ...


… as I was picking at the Passion vine a couple nights ago, just before dark, picking off dead leaves and checking for resting or sleeping creatures and ready fruit I noticed a curious thing.

One of the leaves I picked was long dead and brown, dried out and curled up, but as it plunged to the ground where it would join in the mulch a bunch of tiny bees fell out and spilled around, almost unnoticed, about 20 of them.

I didn’t know they were bees until I took a few shots, being only 12 to 15mm long – my eyes not that good anymore, if ever they were. Then I put what I could find at the base of the vine’s stem and threw on a few more leaves for cover on the cold night, to increase their chance of survival, having disturbed it myself.

Apparently they are all males (by the white 'lip') and the nest should be nearby but I couldn't track them to find out. Now they are so few after two weeks rain.

A communal bee where the females share nesting sites with little or no hierarchy - http://www.padil.gov.au/pollinators/Pest/Main/138358


























Jul 01, 2013 at 08:29 AM
denis55
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Surprise, Surprise ...


nice surprise indeed mark!
cute little guys.



Jul 01, 2013 at 09:50 AM
rick2906
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Surprise, Surprise ...


Wow, really nice !! quite a bunch you were able to photograph!!!


Jul 01, 2013 at 10:09 AM
michael kilner
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Surprise, Surprise ...


great find and nice shots


Jul 01, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Dean M.
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Surprise, Surprise ...


really nice shots


Jul 01, 2013 at 01:51 PM
MarkB1
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Surprise, Surprise ...


Thanks for comments all ...


Jul 02, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Jonathan Huynh
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Surprise, Surprise ...


Excellence !


Jul 02, 2013 at 04:03 AM
 

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LordV
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Surprise, Surprise ...


Wonderful find and shots
Brian v.



Jul 02, 2013 at 06:51 AM
birdied
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Surprise, Surprise ...


They are tiny! Wonderful set and narrative.

Birdie



Jul 02, 2013 at 01:28 PM
pepperman
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Surprise, Surprise ...


Very cool!!!!


Jul 02, 2013 at 02:26 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Surprise, Surprise ...


very nice Mark.. especially the last one


Jul 07, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Dalantech
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Surprise, Surprise ...


Always a pleasure to view your work Mark -love your light and composition!

I've seen this before, and I think that you found them shortly after they hatched. Very common for them to sleep bunched up like that, but after a few days they will separate and stake out flowers to lay claim to -drive off other males and wait for females to be attracted to the flowers.

I have a similar species here that likes to sleep inside large flowers.



Jul 08, 2013 at 05:08 PM
MarkB1
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Surprise, Surprise ...


Thanks for comments all ...


Jul 09, 2013 at 12:41 PM
MarkB1
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Surprise, Surprise ...


Thanks John. You are probably right about that, just hatched. I am also told the females boot the males out of the nest asap - they probably have a short life span. I had lined my garden with all sorts of material for bees to use, including much pith centred stems from old dead plants that naturally hollowed out as they dried, bunches in the passion-fruit vine and elsewhere. But was unable to locate the nest of these bees.

Territoriality makes sense and they did return to the same leaves for a few weeks, never found them on any flowers though.

Dalantech wrote:
Always a pleasure to view your work Mark -love your light and composition!

I've seen this before, and I think that you found them shortly after they hatched. Very common for them to sleep bunched up like that, but after a few days they will separate and stake out flowers to lay claim to -drive off other males and wait for females to be attracted to the flowers.

I have a similar species here that likes to sleep inside large flowers.




Jul 09, 2013 at 12:46 PM





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