Carder Bee Attack

 This photograph shows the moment a Carder Bee attacked another bee on Stachys. I watched it grasp it's victim for at least 10 seconds before releasing it.

 My garden is in North Yorkshire. Has anyone else witnessed a similar attack?   

Carder bees, apparently, do not have a sting, but have bristles on their undersides which they use when attacking other bees, sometimes resulting in death.

  • Unfortunately the photo is not that clear, but I have to say it doesn't look like a Carder Bee to me, with those facial marks, although I can't tell what it might be instead, but if it isn't a bumblebee in the first place then it's behaviour might not be unusual.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • Hello, Nigel

    I did send a photo of the bee to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust last year after it appeared in my garden and they identified it as a Wool Carder Bee.
  • I hadn't heard of wool carder bee......but now recognise it as being in the garden....so thanks for that. There are other bees with the word 'carder' in the name. According to what I have read, what you witnessed is usual behaviour for this species.....and it is interesting that the male is larger.
  • Sounds like you have a fairly unusual and interesting character in the garden after all. Hope it hangs around for you to enjoy.

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    Nige   Flickr