When this insect flashes by you in your garden, at first glance you think: "Yellow jacket? Paper wasp? What's that?" Then it lands and you realize it's neither. It's a bee.The insects buzzing in our catmint last weekend were wool-carder bees, Anthidium...
Female carder bees
CAUGHT IN FLIGHT, a female carder bee heads for saliva blossom--but it's occupied by another female carder bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
CARDER BEE sips nectar from a salvia blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
THE CARDER BEE is so named because it gathers "down" or "fuzz" from leaves to build its nest. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
THE LEAF of a catmint (see upper right hand corner) shows evidence of carding. Carder bees remove the fuzz or down to build their nests. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Love on a Catmint
MATING--A male carder bee (top) finally catches up to a female. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)