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wool carder bee


Have you seen this culprit in your area of NZ?  

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  1. 1. Have you seen this culprit in your area of NZ?

    • Yes
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    • No
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I haven't been to Masterton in 2yrs and in this time my sister in laws garden had lost most of its bee population. I was curious as to the reason why (as I love taking photos of bees).

When I went out to check out the bees favorite patch of garden there was this little thing acting like a bee but stinging any other bee that came to this patch.

Looked up what this animal was and found out it was and found it to be wool carder bee. There is a little information on the NZ bee organisation website but not much. Please be aware it is aggressive and shouldn't be allowed to establish. 20141213_094717.jpg.767ec0b2c2a4c5d8a7f5e2b56ac28a27.jpg

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I have had them for a few years in Palmerston North. They are cute and are very territorial. Preying Mantis like to eat them. They do not trouble the honey bees, except the ones that come into the Carder's territory.

 

Don't you find it distressing?

I have seen the population of bumble and honey bees in this patch of garden go from extremely busy to far and few between.

They also over take existing hives (apparently) .

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Don't you find it distressing?

I have seen the population of bumble and honey bees in this patch of garden go from extremely busy to far and few between.

They also over take existing hives (apparently) .

No. They don't form colonies so I can't see how they can take over a hive. I have never seen them sting, even when I have caught them in my hands.

They only defend around their flowers they are working on.

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No. They don't form colonies so I can't see how they can take over a hive. I have never seen them sting, even when I have caught them in my hands.

They only defend around their flowers they are working on.

 

I saw one sting a bumble bee today defending its patch. That's the reason for my thread.

That and this tiny bit of info i got from this website.

Honey Bee Pests and Diseases - Save the honeybee - Waikato Domestic Beekeepers Association - Waikato Beekeepers

 

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I may be wrong, but I don't see them as a threat. There is not enough of them to do any real damage. They have spines on their abdomen not stingers.

 

Yes they do have spines. You can see them on the 2nd, 4th and 5th photo quite clearly.

I'm just concerned that if you have native bees then this could possibly be an issue.

The female will take a space and fill it full of plant fiber to make a nest,also known to use post boxes and another post I saw a be keeper had complained that one of his hives was full of this cotton wool looking fiber.

May be a cute option for the garden now but for how long until they get established?

Then once they do what happens to every other bee species?

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When I went out to check out the bees favorite patch of garden there was this little thing acting like a bee but stinging any other bee that came to this patch.

Looked up what this animal was and found out it was and found it to be wool carder bee. There is a little information on the NZ bee organisation website but not much.

There's quite a bit of content here on the wool carder bee - here is one wool carder bee | NZ Beekeepers Forum

 

Just go to the search function and enter "wool carder bee" and you'll get a decent list to look through (y)

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The NZ research I've seen says the impact of the wcb is lower than thought, especially with regards to attacks on other bees. They are solitary

 

I can't find the full publication, but the wcb is not the beast you'd have us think. And with regards to protecting bees, the clue is in it's name, unless we're only going to save selective bees that we like.

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One of our apiary 'hosts' has a wool carder setting up camp on a folded up mailer on a wee table outside their back door. Himself came home to tell me about it last week. Next time I'm up there I'll take photos of its home. Apparently the fibre has increased in size and they are making babies. Our mate has got a fascinating new 'pet', we've been doing some research and don't see that they are going to cause anymore problems, and a lot less than wasps. I have no compassion or interest in wasps, the wool carder is kinda cute.

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I have these in my garden. When they're guarding flowers, they jig around in an alarming manner, but have never stung me even when I'm trimming the lavender they are guarding.

This is around 8m from my hives, and I've not seen them bother my bees either.

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