Sunday, July 20, 2014
Leaf-cutter bee contortions
The leaf-cutter bees in our garden find the bell-shaped flowers of Symphyandra pendula irresistible.
As you can see from this image these very active little bees collect pollen on the underside of their abdomen and it's interesting to watch how they harvest it.
When they arrive they enter right way up and walk up into the bell along the central column of the flower but at some point, when they are out of view, they flip upside down.
This means that as they back out of the flower they pick up pollen on their abdomen as its brushed off from the central column of stamens in the flower.
Interesting to watch how the bees adapt to different flower architectures. The same bees are currently visiting the open bowl-shaped flowers of meadow cranesbill.