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

wool carder bee
This hyper little guy is taking a break while he plays with his tongue - forked tongue.  The whole time he was
sitting there his abdomen was vibrating and his tongue wagging.  © Carol Davis 7-25-2017

These little bees may be tyrants, but they are beautifully marked. This catmint plant used to be
a favorite of the tiny bees, but they have to be careful coming in. I can stand around the Wool
Carder Bees all day long
taking pictures and they don't bother me but if another insect flies into the
 area - boom! I saw a male
take little bee or fly right to the floor of the my deck. ©Carol Davis 7-20-2017

wool carder bee face
They have those huge gorgeous green eyes that always look like they mean business.  © Carol Davis 7-20-2017

Anthidium manicatum
Female Wool Carder Bee in Taylorsville, Utah. Notice how much pollen she has gathered
on her abdomen.
They seem to love catmint plants (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

Home - Utah Insects and Bugs

Other Home - Amazing Nature