On World Bee Day (20th May 2020) I can do no better than recommend the excellent novel, The Bees, by Laline Paull. The book tells the story from the point … Continue Reading World Bee Day
If insects could talk – English preferably! – I would like to ask them what they think is the key to their great success! In particular, I would like to … Continue Reading Order, order! Insect diversity.
Tibial spurs are an ancient feature, found on most insects, from bees to moths, although in some species they have been lost or modified over evolutionary time to suit the … Continue Reading Insect tibial spurs: a highly versatile tool!
On a recent trip to northern Thailand (Chiang Dao) I came across these strange tubes coming out of the bottom of a tree. I knew at once that they were … Continue Reading Stingless bees: fascinating little builders!
The Asian hornet arrived in Galicia (NW Spain) in 2012, and since then it has expanded and spread, becoming very common and highly visible. It is particularly attracted to the … Continue Reading Asian hornets feeding on tree sap
I was very fortunate, I think, to come across this mating pair of bumblebee hoverflies (Volucella bombylans), which are well-known mimics of bumblebees. The interesting thing is that they were … Continue Reading Polymorphic mating in bumblebee hoverflies
Most of us can tell a bee from a fly, can’t we? We all have an idea about what each of them looks like: a fly is small and shiny; … Continue Reading Polymorphic mimics: flies that look like bumblebees
The Eastern honey bee, or Asian honey bee (Apis cerana), is endemic to much of Asia where has been cultivated for honey production for millenia. It is fairly similar to … Continue Reading Asian honey bees on Calla lilies
I came across this very attractive bumblebee feeding on Fuchsia flowers in the gardens of the King chedi on Doi Inthanon, northern Thailand. It really is a lovely bumblebee; the … Continue Reading A big black, beautiful bumblebee!
Reduvid bugs (Reduvioidea) – of which there are more than 7,000 named species – have evolved a diverse range of structural and behavioral adaptations to enable them to capture prey (4), … Continue Reading Resin bugs: walking sticky traps
Looking at this photograph of a bumblebee with a sprinkling of pollen grains on its head, made me wonder, how often do they groom themselves? Some bumblebees get absolutely covered … Continue Reading Bumblebee grooming
I was very happy to come across a huge bumblebee whilst walking on the heather-clad hills of Galicia in NW Spain. To be honest I have never seen such a … Continue Reading A huge bumblebee from Spain: Bombus magnus?
These remarkable flies, known as Thick-headed Flies (Conopidae), are larval parasitoids of bees and wasps. Females of this species, Conops quadrifasciatus, attack bumblebees in flight, which has earned them the name ‘bee-grabbers’. Apparently, … Continue Reading Canoodling bee-grabbers
The Giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) is a large (17–20 mm long) bee, which occurs in India and S E Asia. (1) There are four subspecies; the one shown here … Continue Reading Wild at heart: the Giant honey bee
I always enjoy seeing bombyliids (bee-flies). They sound like little helicopters, hovering and buzzing about, and their furry appearance gives them a certain cuteness. They are flies pretending to be … Continue Reading Bee-flies: the dipteran narwhals
The peculiar shape of this nest entrance caught my eye. Bees were moving in and out of the trumpet-shaped nest which was located below a large dipterocarp tree, at the … Continue Reading Stingless bees and resin bugs