Do you notice native bees?

Speaking about bees in general, and in one’s backyard in particular.
It doesn’t take flowers to attract them.
All bees need water, and Apis mellifera collect water also to cool down the hive.
Unfortunately bees drown pretty fast, so it’s essential the water be in very flat containers, with lots of stuff like pebbles or twigs inside that will allow them to 1) keep out of the water or 2) get out fast if they do fall in.
Here is a video of the bottom of an old wine barrel with half an inch of rain water, full of junk (leaves, twigs, grass, immature fruits fallen from the tree above): https://www.dropbox.com/sc/mxs3vvpr7cuyko2/AACJDVY-7iSYjACZzbfJn0eya/1 This is a very popular watering hole for the bees coming from the apiary on a neighbour’s property. We were wondering why on earth they would come all the way up here to collect water in this pit when they had clean water right by the apiary. [BTW, to prevent the spread of mosquitoes I first used BTI (must be israelensis, though, because other BTs kill off other critter too), but then observed that the backswimmers take good care of them].
Equally popular is moist coconut fiber: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/75581621
Here in a cracked container I used to get rid of excess water: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/mxs3vvpr7cuyko2/AABqZrhZG0-PWSLuegpeWML_a/2
And here bees ‘licking’ stones with dried urine (five dogs…):
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31550069

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Thank you for that. The only thing Winnipeg does better than Toronto is murder people. 750,000 people trapped living in Winnipeg - The Beaverton

Recently, at the coast, I looked up a sheer cliff wall and saw bees going in and out of a cluster of small holes. The movements in and out of the holes were quite discernible , but due to the distance I could not get a still picture that showed anything but the holes. The video shows the bees, but I cannot post that video without uploading it to an outside site and then linking to it.

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Why not upload a gif?

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Good idea! Can you recommend a good easy GIF converter (preferably with no in-app purchases) for iOS?

https://ezgif.com/video-to-gif

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I see so many tiny pollinators on my flowers. My grape vines were blooming recently & the hum of pollinators was a real symphony (or cacophony, depending on your perspective!). I got a couple of pictures of the biggest ones but don’t have the equipment to catch the tiny ones. They were certainly all shapes & sizes.

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I’ve been noticing an increase in native bumblebees in my area; my landmate has spent the past several years restoring meadow habitat here on the farm. I have a nest of black-tailed bumblebees by the garage that I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get photos of.

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Fantastic! You can also share the nest with Bumble Bee Watch

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Nice shots! I’ve noticed that too, it seems like the smallest bees are often less timid than some of the larger ones (other than honeybees)… maybe because they’re almost too small to be noticed by something as big as a human, they don’t tend to avoid us?

Yes! I find it’s a challenge when I’m observing to know what types of images are important to capture for field marks unless I know the family a bit. These days for bees if I don’t know specifics to look for, I try for a head-on view, a top down view with the wing veins clearly visible, and a view that has good focus on the hind legs and ventral side of the abdomen if possible (to show details of the scopa). But there are often useful field marks I still miss with those views… Of course, getting even those first three is a luxury. With many individuals I’m lucky if I get ONE picture that’s at all clear.

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Yeah, I have similar strategies like waiting near of flowers. With just my cellphone, I have taken some acceptable pictures of native bees without going to a pristine ecosystem. Here in Ecuador, there are a lot of species and so little info, so the pics are recognizable to genre.

Aditionally, I think masks work for make us less detectable too!! I have noticed that

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They’re beautiful pictures! I couldn’t imagine taking a picture of a flying bee with my cell phone, you must have steady hands and a lot of patience! Thank you for the link, I enjoyed a glimpse of the bees of Ecuador.

It’s really interesting to me that where I am, Agapostemon spp are very shy, but other people report them as being among the more approachable bees.

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Thank you!! The Euglossini bee observation was luck haha (So lucky , I live in a dry zone).

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I take one or two cheap plastic Petri dishes with me when I go out in the field, and the Petri dishes work pretty well in terms of using them to capture tiny bees and other small insects including tiny moths, while they are on flowers or grass or other plants.

And then I sit down somewhere and photograph the critter while it is still in the Petri dish. Sometimes a piece of flower or plant gets trapped in the dish too, and the critter will perch on that.

Then, once you get your shot(s), you open the dish and let the critter go.

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A smartphone can take decent shots if you’re patient


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