Blue banded bees can sting but they are very placid creatures, and will tolerate very close inspection. Attempting to catch or hold one could be another matter.
Female blue banded bees build their nests underground, but males don’t build nests. They roost for the night clinging to plant stems, and are often observed sitting in a line along the same stem.
They occasionally seek nectar deep inside flowers, and then resume the search for pollen on other kinds of flowers. Like all the anthophoridae family, blue banded bees are very active foragers, and each will visit around 1200 flowers per day. They have a limited foraging range of 300 m, and females have been observed to make at least nine foraging flights per day. Blue-banded bees actively forage between temperatures of 18 and 40°C.
Honey bee on basil flower.
Unlike honey bees, blue-banded bees are capable of hovering, which one would assume makes them easier to photograph. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and taking a clear photograph of a blue banded bee in flight is reason for celebration.
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