Ground bees in a rooftop garden
Apparently, ground bees don’t care how far off the ground the ground really is. These rooftop bees were photographed by Erin McGann. She writes, “We have a rooftop garden in Vancouver, Canada with two honey bee hives up there too. This spring we spotted a collection of little holes in one of our beds. My neighbours and I have been trying to catch the inhabitants when they’re out, but they are so FAST.”
Believe me, they are fast. The bees she has are Halictus rubicundus, a common sweat bee that lives all across North America from coast to coast. They are remarkable pollinators that are found in just about every crop and in most garden plants.
While I have frequently photographed these bees, I have never seen the holes where they live. I have scoured my property looking for them, but have never found one. But Erin has dozens.
In the photos below, note that the male has yellow legs and the lower part of the face is yellow as well. The female has golden hairs covering her legs which she uses to collect pollen.
Like most bees in the Halictus and Lasioglossum genera, the tip of the abdomen has a pseudopygidial groove, an area that looks like a part in the hairs. This groove is clearly visible in the photo of the female.
Great shots, Erin. Thank you.