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465RE: [beemonitoring] Cliff Bees

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  • Frye, Jennifer
    Oct 29, 2008

      Thanks to both of you for the information!  I will take your advice and request A Cluster of Bees.  I remember seeing the Anthophora colony at Sam’s place, but didn’t make the connection that these were the same type of bees nesting on the sandy cliffs.


      Much thanks!


      Jen Frye


      -----Original Message-----
      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Peter Bernhardt
      Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:36 AM
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Cliff Bees


      Dear Jennifer:


      I can't answer your question in full but I can give you some clues.  If the owner referred to the insects as resembling small bumblebees it's very likely they are going to belong to one of many species of anthophorines.  Some resemble smaller, chunkier versions of bumblebees and even have a light stripe on their abdomens.  


      Cliff nesting bees was an interest of Tarlton Rayment, an Australian naturalist.  He even filmed them in the 1930's and released a short called, "The Cliff Dwellers."  I think the footage has been lost.  Have your library pick up a loan of his 1935 book, "A Cluster of Bees."  Rayment did his own pen and ink illustrations.   


      Sincerely, Peter Bernhardt

      On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 3:38 PM, Frye, Jennifer <jfrye@.... md.us> wrote:

      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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