Spring has sprung, an Olive-backed Oriole and a Pallid Cuckoo are calling, and the little native bees are working on the Hardenbergia violacea and Dillwynia cinerascens flowers along the rail trail. And, today some welcome rain is bucketing down. Yesterday was ideal for bee photography, cloudy bright and almost dead calm, you need all the help you can get with these tiny bees as they work busily through the flowers. In something of a contrast to last season, the hardenbergia seems to be the flavour of the month, twelve months ago they seemed to be only on the dillwynia, but perhaps I just missed them. One thing that stands out when looking at the photos is that the hardenbergia pollen is whitish, while the dillwynia is yellow. With the bees visiting both species in close proximity, eg. image five, it makes one wonder if there would be any hybridisation. The bee species is Lasioglossum lanaria, they are very small, probably only about 6mm long, the genus is the largest of all bee genera with over 1700 species world wide, most nest in the ground. Here is a selection of pictures, if you look carefully at three and four, you will see another creature lurking, probably an ant.
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