More "Roosting" Cuckoo Bees

09th May 2012
I seem to be having some success in finding Cuckoo Bees "roosting" on grass stems.

As mentioned in the previous BLOG post, cuckoo bees (like this female Nomada) have no nest burrows of their own and are seen, not infrequently, clinging to plant stems and leaves. This it seems, is how they sometimes spend their nights, "waking up" once the day warms up a bit. If you're willing to go searching in areas where you know Cuckoo Bees are active, you sometimes strike lucky. This bee is resting on a grass stem where it has presumably, spent the night. The stem has been bent over by the weight of raindrops and some are still attached to the bee.

As the bee was inactive, I didn't use flash here and that avoided "flare" off the water droplets. Settings: 1/40th second, F7.1, ISO 800. Camera on a beanbag.

Here's a close-up of a Nomada showing how they use their mandibles to hold on. Sometimes they will just hang from their mandibles, sometimes they also grip on with one or more legs.

I'll definitely keep looking for these. My "holy grail" is to find one totally covered in dew droplets.

Settings: 1/250th second, F13, ISO 100. Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens + Canon MT24-EX TwinLite Flash.

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