Wool Carder Bee

Photo ©CV 2016 Wool Carder Bee

Wool Carder Bee

Where else but on Skopelos can we find a Wool Carder Bee? (Probably a lot of places).

From the fine “A Field Gide to the Insects and Spiders of Skopelos”written by the Ridouts in Moutero we learn:
Wool Carder Bees (Anthidium sp.) gain their common name by shaving hairs from plant stems to line their brood chambers. Nests are constructed above ground in existing cavities such as beetle holes in dead wood.
Males are fiercely territorial and aggressive to other insects. The end of their abdomen is equipped with spines for defence.”

This photo was sent along by CV out in Ag Iannis Skliro (high above Alykias). The photographer was not keen on the bee making a nest in the house and so followed it around and blocked any hole from which the bee emerged. Here is the note which accompanied the photo…

“Do you know these lonely little fellows ?
One of them decided to make a nest in our house two weeks ago. She is still trying…
She is obstinately carrying little yellow cotton balls that she made in the pine trees and tries very noisily to put them in a little hole. She started with a lock [key hole] (which I locked with a piece of paper), then with the copper bar holding the tapestry (which I closed with…), then with a narrow necked wooden vase (which I closed…), then with a t-shirt of mine, then with a towel… I’m exhausted but she is not and follows her idea…
Do you have also one of them?”

I don’t know that we have any around this house though a mud-dauber wasp recently (and noisily) built her nest inside a mandolin on the shelf which amplified her buzzing to an annoying (but funny) degree.


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