DARING DANCE OF A BOLD BEE

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“Bees, including the bulky Carpenter Bee, are regularly included in the diet of Bee-eaters HERE. Hence, a bee’s fate of falling prey to a master aerial predator is always a real and present danger.

Carpenter Bee

“With this risk in mind, I watched the daring dance of a macho male Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa aestuans) fluttering around the flower of Canna generalis at pond’s edge on the morning of 3rd May 2016 (above).

“In full sun, this bee was executing fancy aerial maneuvers revolving around the attractive flower. These were probably efforts to declare his territory to other males, as well as advertise his presence to any passing females.

Carpenter Bees

“In fact, a female Carpenter Bee actually did drop by briefly (above), but alas, she was of another species (Xylocopa latipes)! Expressing his frustration, the hot-blooded male executed a couple of dashes towards the colourful petals, just like an angry bull charging at a red cape.

“Video clips of the male bee’s aerobatic display may be previewed here:

“When I returned to the same spot the following day, he was nowhere to be found. He may either have found the right female to settle down with, or found himself between the beak of a bee-eater.”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
22nd August 2016

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