Wednesday, August 27

Bee City revisited

We've also been filming down at Bee City, a community of solitary bees with some wasps and other creatures that live in the sandy area by the car park at the Salle des Fetes. They survived all the cars driving over them during the village fete last month and are thriving. There about 3 or 4 different species of bee here including the Leaf Cutter Bee who steals other bees homes. Around the bees live a host of other tiny insects that you can only really see by watching the rushes after macro filming.

The Ruby Tailed Wasp is particularly wonderful - in her sparkly red and green outfit she looks like an escapee from a glam-rock band. This tiny wasp watches for a particular wasp (cerceris) to go into a hole with a paralysed Leaf Cutter Bee, the larger wasp lays her egg on the bee and flies off. Ruby Tail nips in quick, before the wasp comes back to seal the hole, and lays her own egg on top, Ruby's larva hatches first, eats the other egg and lives on in the (still live) bee that was caught by the first wasp. A parasite’s parasite if ever there was one.

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