It was a beautiful day on Sunday (18.7.2021) and I thought I would have a look at the bees on the flowers in the garden. I saw one on the Cosmos that I did not recognise.
Luckily I got a shot of the wing venation, and it is luck for me because it depends on the angle of the sun and how long the bee will stay in place.
The two sub marginal cells allowed me to confirm that it was a Megachile.
I would always like to go further but it is impossible to be precise from a photograph and I am not an entomologist, so I do not capture the bees for a closer look.
He looked like a male but I could not recall ever seeing him before but I had seen photographs on the internet.
This made me wonder if it was a Lithurgus chrysurus male. These are Mediterranean bees – but I am further north in the Charente Maritime.
They build their nests in dead, dry often rotting wood or even cow pats. Well, we have plenty of rotting wood left around the garden and certainly in the woods around us. Another feature is the extra long tongue which facilitates getting nectar from some plants such as the Centaurea. Cosmos is in the same family of Asteraceae so perhaps my bee is happy with my cosmos. He certainly had a long tongue.
So, I cannot be certain of my ID but he is very welcome in the garden and I am fascinated by his beautiful green eyes.