Meet the Neighbors: Carder Bee

For the introduction to this series, see here.

This is a carder bee. These bees “card” wool off of fuzzy plants like lambs’ ears to make a nice soft nest. Humans comb sheep’s wool before making it into things. This is called carding. It cleans and aligns the wool fibers. The bees do much the same thing with plant fibers. Many male carder bees defend a patch of flowers against other bees. You might notice them hovering like mini helicopters over plants and zooming after any intruder. Even though they are aggressive towards other bees, they usually aren’t interested in stinging people. Look in your garden for these boldly patterned little bees.

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