A Howth mining bee colony

Hiking the Howth trail back in June, my ento friends and I came across another mining bee nesting aggregation! Plus, I got to see my first ever Irish Sphecodes, which was super exciting. Most of the mining bees looked a lot like the A. nigroaenea like the other large aggregation I found, but there was […]

The cuckoo bee emerges…

…from her host’s nest. This nomad bee lays her eggs in the nests of mining bees, where they hatch out before the host bee’s egg. The nomad bee larva consumes the pollen collected by the mining bee, and then usually also the mining bee egg… so watching her emerge from a mining bee nest was […]

Buffish mining bee aggregation

I found another mining bee aggregation! I’ve lost track of how many bee aggregations I’ve found this spring, which is a good place to be in, in my humble opinion. This is the largest aggregation I’ve seen in Ireland. It’s on a university campus in south Dublin, and again people walk past on both sides […]

An urban, orange-tailed mining bee aggregation

I found and photographed another mining bee aggregation! This one was in Dublin, in the heart of the city centre, believe it or not. It was in a little “biodiversity planting” of mostly weeds, but the bees loved it. As per usual, people were walking by on both sides of me while I crawled around […]


This is a cleptoparasitic bee in the genus Triepeolus…I found her sitting on a pollen bag early one morning. It was a cool, wet morning, and I think she was just trying to dry off. But she was posed so beautifully… These bees have white “appressed” hairs rather than pigments in their cuticle. I think […]

Early spring bees: Nomada

Despite my best attempts this spring, I have yet to find a nesting aggregation of my favourite early spring bee (Colletes inaequalis) in my new location. Sad. But I did find these cuckoo bees (Nomada sp.) out last week, although I didn’t have my macro lens! Oh well, these photos will have to do for […]