Hi, Seasonal Ranger Liam here.
While on patrol a couple of days ago, I came across something that got me really thrilled: in fact, you could say I was “buzzing” with excitement! In a piece of rotten barrier, I came across a community of Ashy Mining Bees. According to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) database, these haven’t previously been recorded in the area, so great to see them doing well here. In the video below, you can see one rolling a ball of material out of the nest. I’m no expert on bees and their “bee-haviour” (sorry!), but this could be a food source, or a way of clearing out the nest. You can also see some “clearing” action with wingbeats, to remove the sawdust they have mined out of this log.
Unfortunately, this rotten piece of barrier had been earmarked for replacement, in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Park visitors – it prevented people stepping off a drop into some boggy ground. As a result, Seasonal Ranger Marcel and myself built an elevated platform, and gently relocated the rotten nesting log, so we could carry on with our repairs. I’m delighted to report that after a moment of confusion, our wee friends were soon happily carrying on with their lives. In this next snippet, you can see a bee carrying a large piece of leaf material into her nest.
I’ll do a bit of research on behaviour, and report back at a later time, to let everyone know how they are faring. If you come across the nest, watch them working from a suitable distance. These bees are friendly, not aggressive, and won’t sting.
PS: The barrier was successfully replaced….