Cellophane bee nests

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I’ve posted about the Cellophane bees before.

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Photographing the first Cellophane bees (Colletes inaequalis) to emerge in spring has become one of my favourite end-of-winter traditions.

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They nest in the ground (like the squash bees, the Agapostemon bees, and most other solitary bee species), so you can dig to get to the nest cell. This year, a friend who studies the chemistry of bee provisions, enlisted some help in digging up a couple of Cellophane Bee nests.

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The female bees are looking a little tired this time of year.

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Cellophane bees make a special, plasticky substance that protects their nest cell from dehydration and fungal attack.

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You can pull the nest cell out of the ground like a convenient ziploc baggie.

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My creepy giant fingers for scale.

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