Buzzing Around the Garden. July 2011.

 This is the Wool Carder Bee, at the moment I have one male and at least 3 females in the garden. What makes them stand out from the other bees is the size first and foremost. The male is just over 10mm and the females are smaller. They have a distinctive yellow markings on the sides of the abdomen and notable hairy bodies especially noticeable on the legs. Something I noticed that it is known for is how territorial it is, picking a clump of flowers and patrolling it consistently. It keeps an eye on his females too and regularly pounces on their backs to mate with them. The male was also seen harassing any larger bumblebee that ventured onto his feeding patch, it would briefly buzz the back of the much larger bee moving it on and away. The females obviously smaller also looked more orange, whether due to pollen or not I couldn't say. Also due to its size, you wouldn't think it could buzz so loud, if you couldn't pick it out at first the loud buzzing would give its position up. I had to put up with quite a breeze so I was glad to get some half decent pictures.