Monday, June 13, 2011

Bee heaven

We went to Centennial Beach without checking the tide tables, and found the beach reduced to a narrow strip of stones. We turned inland and dawdled through the dunes.

This area, just south of the park area, is mostly loose sand, anchored by sea rocket and scratchy dune grasses. Here and there, low-growing purple beach peas find spots sheltered by old logs; escapees from landscaped yards, poppies, euphorbia and huge mounds of evergreen rose bushes, line the inland edge.  The sea rocket is in full bloom now, covered with small, pale flowers, their colours eclipsed by the bright yellow and orange of the bees that feed on them.

Native orange bumblebee, Bombus melanopygus*.

Another bumblebee, in yellow and black. An older bee, probably, going bald.

The flowers are productive; note this bee's full pollen sac on his leg.

A different species, probably. The abdomen is black, with faint stripes. Possibly the Eastern bumblebee?

On euphorbia, a wasp I don't recognize.

In the center of a rose, more yellow and black stripes. Another wasp?

No. This one's a honeybee, Apis mellifera.

*Note: all bee/fly/wasp IDs are tentative. I am often wrong, and appreciate corrections.


  1. I spotted a bee myself last week and posted it on my blog, although I’m not quite sure that it isn’t a wasp. It IS difficult to tell at times. Centennial Park is a fantastic place to visit and it’s been far too long since I was there. :)

  2. I really enjoy these wonderful photos. Very educational!


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