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Goodens Nomad Bee: cuckoo, cuckoo

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Goodens Nomad Bee: cuckoo, cuckoo

This may look like a wasp; indeed I thought it was a wasp until I used the Open University I-spot website to get an identification. This is actually a bee, a nomad bee. In fact, it is Gooden's nomad bee (Nomada goodeniana). 
 
The adult nomad bee feeds on nectar. They are fond of dandelions in the spring but they do not have pollen or nectar collecting equipment. The female waits until an andrena bee female has excavated a nest tunnel in the ground and has provisioned a nest cell with pollen for her larva which takes many pollen gathering trips. Whilst she is away the Nomad female will take advantage of the host's absence to visit the cell and lay her own egg in it. Just like the cuckoo! Seems a bit of a lazy approach to life but it obviously works.
 
The species was named by someone called Kirby in 1802 but I presume Mr Gooden was the first person to identify it a species.

 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 1 year 11 months ago

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