The two combatants take the stage. The little bee is by far the meanest and a formidable opponent. Her aim, seek and destroy. Watch the drama unfold.
Our first combatant is a Anthidium manicatum, the European Wool Carder bee. I got my bee identified by standingoutinmyfield, a very helpful and knowledgeable entomologist who has a wonderful blog that I keep recommending. Also an artist who draws bees, this is a great site for so many reasons. It is interesting, educational, funny at times and there are some really creative, kid’s book stories that are authored and illustrated by standingoutinmyfield. Such a delight, SO GO AND SEE! You will check in often I am betting. Phew, I hope I don’t sound like I am selling. Update: standingouinmyfield has posted a link to my post and has posted information on the European Wool Carder Bee. Now I will be looking for the bee’s cocoon!
Our next player in the bee drama…
Our Carpenter Bee is just going about her business, never suspecting to be in a battle.
The aerial attack is on. We have liftoff for the aerial pursuit. Look at those furry landing legs on our European Wool Carder Bee! Need a bigger view, click any image.
The battle ground worth fighting over above is Caryopteris, Sweet Peas and Jasmine. You must think I have too much time on my hands to record this drama, but in reality, it took only about two minutes. Watch it unfold… we got some closeup action…
Our pursuer stalks the quarry from afar, but moves in closer, hovering and darting. The Carpenter Bee, nonchalantly gives her a dismissive wave, shrugging off the competition. I don’t make this stuff up. Check out the raised foreleg. Even the foot looks splayed. Can bees even do that? Bee humor. Maybe it is an obscene bee gesture? Maybe it is just me being silly, but the photo is real.
Circling, buzzing in close and intimidating, the Carpenter Bee is not taking the challenge seriously. After all, the enemy is much smaller, but little does the Carpenter Bee know, this bee is a terror of the sky. A mighty force in a small package not to be reckoned with.
But the little bee spots a weakness, sees an opportunity and takes aim. Is it getting interesting? Did you pick a favorite to win the battle?
The challenge is made and they face off, the little bee sporting a sneer.
The smaller, quicker bee carefully prepares the aerial attack, revving the propellers and picking up speed. Then the descent… the bombardier is in for the kill, kamikaze style, putting life and liberty in jeopardy. The aerial entry form is a thing of beauty. Well, maybe a little overly dramatic, but hey, the story is slowly unfolding.
We are losing altitude tower, the target is hit. I repeat, the target is hit.
Bee bombing the Carpenter Bee, the smaller bee takes the tactical advantage and goes right for the head shot.
Taking a defeat, the Carpenter Bee retreats to regroup. Showing the enemy weakness is not good battle strategy. Find cover and reinforcements is now mission imperative.
Hiding in deep cover will only be a temporary solution as the enemy will eventually flush out our Carpenter Bee. Need to get back to the troop and get reinforcement. The males are most useful for surveillance. Lacking a stinger, keeps them on lite flying duty.
Here comes a male now.
The Wool Carder is a relentless foe. Mmmm, is that a different foe? A little dark down here in the bunker to see clearly.
Constantly on the wing, the small bee secures the perimeter.
The strategically smart little bee is on the hunt to ascertain militarily advantageous features and locate the enemy bunkers. An offensive low-level reconnaissance move, the little bee has to watch for dangerous battle action coming from the trenches.
The dangerous jungle-like terrain, bee vs. nature, provides ideal concealment for both offensive operations and defensive positioning. Many foreign vegetative species in this jungle.
Surprise is an ally but also the fixing of enemy position is made more difficult in the dense vegetation.
The pursuit continues until the Carpenter Bee can be located and removed. The Wool Carder makes sure that the enemy remains separated from the troop.
The attacks resume with repeated assault.
The Carpenter Bee is downed and flattened. The little bee comes in to finish off the enemy.
The little bee rides the bigger bee (hi ho Silver, away style, no?) doing whatever is either annoying or painful. Hard to tell what is happening it happens so fast. The Carpenter Bee relents and makes another retreat.
The little bee quickly drives the bigger bee off the property after….
The bigger bee finally surrenders in defeat. I almost put a white flag in the foreleg, but wanted to keep the exchange real, so I refrained my little artistic addition. But, can’t you see this bee waving the flag? Oh heck… what’s a little fun.
If you did not see Happy Monday last week, we have a battle of the squirrels. Shock and Awe – Squirrel Style. And before that the birds are rough and tumble in Splish, Splash, I’m Taking A Bath. It is part of my garden critter series, the last one being Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.