Globe Mallow Bee Turrets (four photos)
Diadasia diminuta


potter wasps
My friend Ruth found these in some damp tire tracks in the Kolob Terraces area of Zion National Park while we
were on a birding trip.
There  were thirty or forty of these tiny sand turrets in various stage of development. The
turrets were only about 10mm high.  I suspected that they were the masonry of potter wasps but I have since
discovered that they are probably digger bee turrets of Diadasia diminuta, who specialize in pollinating only a limited
species of flowers, one of which is the Globe Mallow (which is all over Southern Utah).
Once the nests, which are dug
 underground are constructed, it seems they build these sand turrets around the entrance to the nest and no one seems to
 know why. Aren't they amazing! 
Carol Davis, 6-11-2011

the village
 It was a cool morning and the bees were not active as yet. Unfortunately we were unable to return to the same site
 later in the day. 
You can see in this photo just how many turrets there were in this spot. People could walk right over
 them, as we did, and not even know they were there. 
Isn't it mind-boggling that such a small bee (and they are quite small)
can do such magical things? It was almost as magical that Ruth was able to spy these tiny things and MAKE MY DAY! 
You can read more about these tiny bees at a site offered by the U. S. Forest Service.
Carol Davis, 6-11-2011

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