Bee Ball

Lying on the grass amidst clouds of bees was an amazing experience this afternoon.

The sunshine had brought them all out of their burrows and they were having a ball. Mining bees, very friendly, not a bit aggressive, not minding me lying carefully on a mat camera in hand waiting for them to come just a bit nearer to get a shot. They flew around just over the grass, landed, walked down to the earth then buzzed off - all in seconds.

What was REALLY amazing was their behaviour towards each other: when one landed then another bee would pile in on top and then another and then another. It ended up being a bee ball literally, a seething mass of wings, antennae, bodies and legs. I have absolutely no idea what was going on and hundreds of photographs later I've still no idea and can only guess. I've looked it up on google to no avail but am hoping another blipper might know. It didn't look like mating and it didn't look like a fight and they all flew off at the end of this 3 seconds furore as if nothing had happened.

There were also 2 other types of burrowing bees out and about here all living in harmony but the balls were very curious.

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