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463Re: [beemonitoring] Cliff Bees

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  • Sam Droege
    Oct 29, 2008

      Hi Jen:

      I am going to guess that the bumblebee type things are an aggregation of Anthophora abrupta nests.  I know that Warren Steiner has collected them from cliffs along the Chesapeake Bay and I have them nesting in the adobe walls of my house.  To any but the most experienced they would appear almost exactly like bumblebees.

      Here is a picture that Karen Goodell took of the Anthophora colony at my house:

      They have now expanded to include that entire section.  They are a lot of fun to watch with an interesting mix of nest parasites and hangers on.  The don't defend their nests and nobody in the house has been stung or bothered by the nest site.


      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705

      I rose from marsh mud

      I rose from marsh mud,
      algae, equisetum, willows,
      sweet green, noisy
      birds and frogs

      to see her wed in the rich
      rich silence of the church,
      the little white slave-girl
      in her diamond fronds.

      In aisle and arch
      the satin secret collects.
      United for life to serve
      silver. Possessed.

            -Lorine Niedecker

      P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed.

      "Frye, Jennifer" <jfrye@...>
      Sent by: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com

      10/28/2008 04:38 PM

      Please respond to

      [beemonitoring] Cliff Bees

      Hi everyone,


      I had a question I thought perhaps one or more of you could answer.  Twice in the last year, I have been asked my colleagues about bees nesting in cliffs.  Both sightings were in Maryland, one along the Potomac River in Charles County and the other along the Sassafras River in Kent County.  Both sites had sandy cliffs along the beach, and bees were apparently nesting in the sand on the cliff faces.  At one site, the landowner said that the bees nesting in the cliffs looked like small bumblebees, and that during the summer they come down to the water’s edge to drink(?)  Any ideas on what kind of bees they might be?  I have not actually seen them myself but am wondering if it is worth a trip to collect some next year.


      Thanks in advance for any information!



      Jen Frye

      Natural Heritage Program


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