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Rye Wanderers

As you may have gathered, over the last few years I have become increasingly interested in bees and one group that has particularly grabbed my attention are the nomad bees.  These species don't build a nest of their own, rather they lay their eggs in the nests of mining bees, the nomad larva then eating the stocks which the mining bee has gathered for its own young. This is a lifestyle know as cleptoparasitim and nomads themselves are often called cuckoo bees as a consequence, while their English name comes from their habit of seeming to wander aimlessly rather than being tied to a single nest site.

Flavous Nomad, a nest parasite of chocolate mining bee and buffish mining bee

Several species of nomad are active at the moment and a visit to Castle Water at the weekend turned up painted nomad (below), which attacks the nests of yellow-legged mining bee, and small nomad (bottom) which is a parasite of several species of 'mini-miner'.

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