Little pollen sausages

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been helping a friend with her field work.  She’s studying the squash bee and its taste for cucurbit pollen.  One of the aspects of this work is to dig up the nests and collect samples of the pollen provisions the bees collect.  I thought it might be interesting to share a peak inside these nests and their inhabitants, which we have fondly nicknamed “little pollen sausages” for reasons that should be fairly apparent.

We squirt baby powder down the nest holes so we can follow them in the soil , but sometimes we accidentally spray an occupant.  Hence baby powdered bee butts.

We squirt baby powder down the nest holes so we can follow them in the soil , but sometimes we accidentally spray an occupant. Hence baby powdered bee butts.

A young larva on a pollen provision (yellow)

A young larva on a pollen provision (yellow)

Larva that has eaten all its pollen provision...aka "little pollen sausage"

Larva that has eaten all its pollen provision…aka “little pollen sausage”

Hard to imagine that such ugly little pollen sausages will one day turn into such cute bees!

Hard to imagine that such ugly little pollen sausages will one day turn into such cute bees!

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7 thoughts on “Little pollen sausages

  1. I have never seen a bee larvae before! They are so squishy compared to the more adult bees! Does the baby powder do them any harm if they just walk through it, like boric acid kills the pests in house? What a unique perspective, powdered baby bee butts, sounds like a page from a kids book and I think they would get a kick out of it!

  2. Pingback: Cellophane bee nests | standingoutinmyfield

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