The male bees have been photogenic this month. After the male carpenter bee two weeks ago, I found something unusual on a milkweed early one morning.
Actually, it isn’t really unusual, you just have to get up early in the morning to see it. This is a cluster of male long-horned bees “sleeping” on a plant overnight.
If you look at bit closer, you can see the long antennae that give them the common name long-horned bee.
These particular bees likely belong to the Genus Melissodes.
If the male bees form a cluster to sleep on a plant overnight, where are the females?
Each female long-horned bee builds a tunnel nest in the soil, so that’s where she stays at night. During the day she gathers nectar and pollen from flowers to provision her nest and then lays eggs on the food.
What do the male bees do during the day?
You can spot the male bees hovering around plants with flowers defending them from other bees and looking for females to mate with.
Have you ever been lucky enough to spot a cluster of sleeping bees?
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