Natural History Photographs

Osmia bicornis
Authority:(Linnaeus, 1758)
Nederlands:Rosse metselbij
English:Red mason bee
Deutsch:Rote Mauerbiene
Amstelveen, the Netherlands; 28 March 2007.
Male resting at Poplar trunk, between chases.
Amstelveen, the Netherlands; 31 March 2007.
Failed attempt to copulate.
Amstelveen, the Netherlands; 22 March 2009, 20 April 2008, 2 June 2007.

Aspects of nesting behaviour
Amstelveen, the Netherlands; 17 - 18 April 2007.
Female at artificial nest. Females returning with a pollen load enter head first, then exit, turn around and reenter, abdomen first. Right photo: female closing nest with mud.

Cacoxenus indagator
Amstelveen, the Netherlands; 17 April 2007.
The kleptoparasitic fly, Cacoxenus indagator (Diptera: Drosophilidae) enters a host nest to lay her eggs on the stored pollen. The pollen on the wings show that the fly has just reemerged from the nest hole.

Osmia bicornis
Amstelveen, the Netherlands; 27 April 2007.
This female has chosen the space used by the latching mechanism of the doorhandle as her nesting site, in the door of our shed. In a couple of days she built five different cells in this space, occupying it completely. During that time, we just closed the door of our bike shed!

The series shown here taken about in the middle of all nesting activities. Top row: general overview, close up of nest, and of pollen store. Bottom row: after returning from a foraging trip, the female first inspects the cell contents, then turns and enters again, now with her abdomen. Although the bee sat quietly, she must have been offloading her pollen.

Symmorphus bifasciatus
Amstelveen, the Netherlands; 24 - 31 May 2007.
This wasp is removing mud that the Red Mason Bee used to close her brood cell... From the dates you can see the wasp did this habitually. In the end, most of the cells were robbed of their mud.