Wool Carder Bee  (three photos)
Anthidium manicatum
Leaf-cutting Bee

Anthidium manicatum
Female Wool Carder Bee in Taylorsville, Utah. Notice how much
pollen she has gathered on her abdomen.
They seem to love
this catmint plant (Nepeta species) Carol Davis, 7-22-2016

wool carder bee
Females, who are smaller than the males, use the down from Lamb's Ears plants
to line their nests.  Wool Carder Bees are an accidentally introduced species
from Europe and buzz with an English accent.
Carol Davis, 7-22-2016

This shot shows the abdomen and, as you can see, the yellow and black patterns are varying (compare it to
the female above).  Its coloring, as well as its behavior, makes it stand out from all the other bees. The males
are extremely territorial and will even knock into the females, but they ignore them and keep on gathering
pollen. This was the only time I saw the male land for any period of time and it allowed me to get a couple
of photos. Any quick movement caused it to start darting around in a heated frenzy.  The six spike-like
projections on the abdomen are used for defense (see this article from UCDavis.edu). I have never seen
 this bee kill a honey bee, or any bee, and today when one entered the Wool Carder Bee's territory, it
let the Honey Bee stay around.  Before I go, I have to add this link to Bees in a French Garden.
You can tell this person likes the Wool Carder Bee, too.  Carol Davis, 7-22-2016

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