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Full Critique Bees, Wasp and a Jumper

Phill104

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Dropped by at Ockham Common in Surrey today. This time of year the place is quite literally buzzing. I had hoped to photograph ruby tailed wasps there but failed in that goal. However, newly emerged gree-eyed flower bees were out as well as a great number of digger wasps. Those alone gave me plenty of opportunities.

#1 Green-Eyed Flower Bee. Newly emerged and waiting for its wings to pump up.
IMG_9588-Edit-Edit.jpg

#2 Another Green-Eyed Flower Bee. This one you can see some damage on her eye, as before it could fly it was in a tussle with a wasp. It climbed up this twig, clamped on with those big mandibles and shook of the sand from its whole body. A few minutes later, wings ready, she took flight.
IMG_9602-Edit-Edit.jpg

#3 Another Gree-Eyed
IMG_9663-Edit-Edit.jpg

#4 This Ornate Tailed Digger Wasp female hunts smaller solitary bees. usually Andrena, Halictus and Lasioglossum (thanks to Ian Beavis for the info)
as food for its larvae. This one was trying to capture a Sphecodes spp cuckoo bee (also known as blood bees) ,which is a bit tougher than your average solitary bee as they lay their eggs on the food gathered by other bees or parasitic wasps. They have to be used to a fight. After about 10 mins of life and death struggles, the bee escaped.
IMG_9695-Edit-Edit.jpg

#5 This tiny little jumping spider, a male v-fronted spider (Aelurillus v-insignitus thanks to @BritishSpiders for the ID) was just 3mm long so was a bit of a challenge with the 60mm.IMG_9745-Edit-Edit.jpg

#6
IMG_9746-Edit-Edit.jpg
 

Mike Singh

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Waw great read and photos!
 

Piquet

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Very good shots
 

David_MC

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Very well done.
 

Classicbiker

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That bees eyes look like opals. Great set of images
 

RyanB

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Love them Phill, I have never seen any of these in person. I would especially love to catch a green eyed flower bee, are they fairly widespread in the UK?
 

Phill104

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Love them Phill, I have never seen any of these in person. I would especially love to catch a green eyed flower bee, are they fairly widespread in the UK?
Thanks Ryan

Yes, quite widespread in the England and Wales, less so in Scotland and are just emerging now. You would probably have to research a site near you. I know they have them at Minsmere but I am sure there will be a nearer site to you.
 
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lesthelens

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Great set Phill love the jumper
 

Snips

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Lovely set and good detail and lighting throughout
 

Phill104

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Lovely set and good detail and lighting throughout
Thanks. Lighting was my hardest battle as it just kept changing second to second. I was waiting for the gaps in the clouds hoping the subjects held their pose long enough. I cannot imagine how hard it must be doing horses in weather like that. For me there is no pressure as insects are not paying clients. I thing that kind of thing would get to me.
 
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wraggtime

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Lovely set of images Phill, those green eyed wasps are amazing
 

Steven B

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Great photos and superb writeup. Thanks for sharing.
 

Stephen F

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Great images and information.
 

Pete Larkin

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Superb stuff - love the eyes on the bees
 
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