The cuckoo is a brood parasite, meaning female cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other species.
The cuckoo egg hatches earlier than the host’s, and the cuckoo chick grows faster; in most cases the chick evicts the eggs or young of the host species. In the photos above, a reed warbler feeds a (comically large) cuckoo chick. (xx)
The most common types of bees include the honey, bumble and carpenter. But did you know that there are over 20,000 speciesof bees, flying around the Earth, all performing a bunch of really interesting jobs?
Today, we’re going to learn about a few that make up the world.
These bees are parasitic, and they don’t connect pollen because of the lack of pollen sacs on their legs. So, how do they take care of their young? Unfortunately, they actually invade the hives of other bees in many different ways to raise their young- from laying their eggs in brood chambers before the host is capable of doing the same, or killing the queen of the hive and forcing the workers to raise their young. Sometimes, in bumblebees’ nests, the bumblebee will raise the cuckoo bees unknowingly- just like their own. These bees’ larvae are just as harsh, too- they have massive jaws that are used to attack the hosts’ larvae. They are TRULY cuckoo, beware of these bees!
The name of these bees comes from the actions of some species, for when the male senses the presence of a female bee, they dig into the ground to wait for her. These little bees usually nest alone, which is hard to think of when you hear that honeybees can have a hive of more than 50,000! They have a very mild sting, in which they are very careful with using, and also have longer antennae. The digger bees’ nests are built in either the wood or the ground.
These bees are some of the easiest to keep- and in my posthereyou can find out how to do it! I am currently, I can’t wait to see them in the spring! A pretty cool fact about these bees is that sometimes, they will nest in empty snail shells.
The leafcutter cuts a piece of a leaf off using their sharp jaws, and then carry it to their nest between their legs. It’s really interesting to see- their favourite flower is the rose. They use these pieces to build their nests, in which they store pollen, honey and eggs inside. The female bee does pretty much all of the work, too.
Finally, some of the bees that I find to be quite interesting. These bees were created by scientists- in the 1950s, Brazilian scientists bred African honeybees with European honeybees to try increasing honey production. They quickly adapted to their new habitat and their population skyrocketed. They are very, very useful for crop pollination, and almost resemble the honeybee exactly- however, they are much more aggressive. If their hive is ever to be disturbed, they can chase their new enemy for a very long time – up to a quarter of a mile - and it takes a while for them to cool down. They stick together, and sting together.
So there you have it- a small portion of some pretty cool bees. They’re all so unique, in their very own way. So let’s save the ones that need our help.
I wasn’t in what you would call the cool crowd, but I wasn’t terrorized at school either. I’d get called geek and boff because I would do well in exams; I just got my head down. I didn’t particularly go to a great school, but I did well. I’m glad I went to a slightly rougher school because it toughened me up a bit. It was a bit scary, but I’ve got no regrets about going there. I was never a popular girl or the girl that anyone fancied or anything like that. I was very much mediocre, an inbetweener I suppose. I wasn’t the popular one and I wasn’t beaten up, I just kind of floated along in the middle. (Tamla Kari photographed for Drama Magazine, July 2014)