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Neon Cuckoo Bee

Colin  Ewington

Mitcham, Australia

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Artist's Description

Cuckoo bees do not build their own nests. Like the cuckoo birds that get another species to raise their young, these bees lay their eggs in other bees’ nests. Usually a female cuckoo bee stalks the nest of a blue-banded bee, and tries to sneak into it during construction of the cell intended for the nest-owner’s egg. If she can go undetected while the female blue-banded bee is busy preparing food and shelter for her own young, the female cuckoo bee will also lay an egg in the cell. When the cell is sealed by the nest-owner, the egg of the cuckoo bee hatches and the larva eats all the nectar/pollen provisions. It then spins a cocoon and pupates. When the blue-banded bee larva emerges, there is no food left and it dies.
Another Red Bubble photographer has captured a shot of the Neon Cuckoo Bee

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