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You’ve no doubt heard of the Cuckoo bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds to get them to do all the hard work of feeding and raising their chicks but have you heard of the Cuckoo bees? These are the Nomada species, a huge group of bees with over 850 species worldwide, though only about 30 of these can be found in Britain. Even so, it is extremely difficult to tell those 30 species apart so I’m not even going to attempt to identify those in my photos.

170509 Nomada sp Cuckoo bees (3)

As you may have guessed, these bees lay their eggs in the nests of other bee species, primarily the Andrena species. When they hatch, the Cuckoo bee larvae eat the eggs of their host and then consume the food the Andrena had gathered for their own young. It’s very cunning if rather nasty behaviour.