Sunday, 13 May 2012

Red Mason Bee with Mites

Yesterday evening I was watching a couple of Bees flying in and out of a screw hole in the pergola. As they started to settle in for the night I decided to try and get a few macro shots of them tucked up in bed, so to speak..

One of the Bees came out of its hole and appeared to be shaking. I switched the camera to video crop mode to take a closer look and to my surprise I could see lodgers on the Bees back with one crawling around its head.

I have to admit it was a surprised to see them, something as small as a Bee with its own lodgers.

After some research I identified the Bee as a Red Mason Bee and its lodgers are Pollen Mites or Krombeins Hairy-Footed Mite (Chaetodactylus Krombeini).

This Bee only had a few Mites but they can become so laden with these hitchhikers that they are unable to fly and then face certain death. If you See a Bee on the ground get your magnifying glass out and take a peek, you never know what you might see..

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