By Kathy Keatley Garvey (Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World) June 2, 2012
Whether it's coming or going, you notice this pollinator's presence.
The European wool carder bee ( Anthidium manicatum), so named because the female collects or cards "plant hairs" or "plant fuzz" to line her nest, is strikingly beautiful.
The bee is mostly black and yellow. The females, about the size of a worker honey bee, range in body length from 11 to 13 millimeters, while the males are 14 to 17 mm.
The males are very territorial. They put the "terror" in territorial. We see them hovering over the lavender in our yard and then bodyslamming honey bees. This behavior results in very skittish honey bees; no wonder honey bees don't linger on the blossoms long when their cousins show up!
The European wool carder bee, as its name implies, is a non-native. But so, too, are the honey bees, which European colonists brought to America in 1622.
Visit the Kathy Keatley Garvey website at: http://kathygarvey.com/
Check out the marvelous inspirational article about Kathy Keatley Garvey in the June 2012 issue of the American Bee Journal. It features more beautiful bee photography by Kathy Keatley Garvey and a walk in her garden.