A Bee that Weaves her Nest!

On a recent visit to Kakamega Forest in Western Kenya I noticed one of my favourite bees (a bee called Pseudoanthidium, also known as Carder Bees for their nesting habits) buzzing about near the windows. It was flying back and forth from the edge of the forest.

This pretty bee is marked in black and yellow and flies about fast furiously visiting flowers.


Carder Bee visiting Ocimum Flowers
Carder Bee visiting Ocimum Flowers


Flowers are an important resource for wild solitary bees as they depend entirely on the pollen and nectar for their own energy and food as well as for their larvae. Most solitary bees collect pollen and store it in their nests for their larvae to feed on.

Carder Bee working hard at an Ocimum Flower

While bees need wildflowers, they also need safe and sheltered places to nest and store their hard-earned pollen. This bee is one of those species that constructs its nest from woolly plant fibres that it gathers specially for this.

Following the tiny bee back and forth I noticed that it disappeared behind a window.

On closer inspection I was delighted to find that there was a tiny nest that the bee was provisioning:

Bee at her delicately spun nest
Bee at her delicately spun nest


I enjoyed watching the bee coming and going and marvelled at the beautifully spun nest.

A work of art in a nest!
A work of art in a nest!


More from the world of bugs soon!

My name is Dino J. Martins, I am a Kenyan entomologist and I love insects. The Kiswahili word for insect is dudu and if you didn't know already, insects rule the world! Thanks to the amazing efforts of the 'little things that run the world' I was humbled to be selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. This blog is a virtual dudu safari through the fascinating world of bugs. Enjoy, leave a comment and send any questions or comments to me through: insects.eanhs@gmail.com
  • Ima Ryma

    Mom says we’re Carder Bees becuz
    We’re s’posed to card (or comb) plant blooms
    To get a bunch of fiber fuzz
    To build the walls around the rooms
    Of what Mom calls the bee all home
    Hidden away in some dull place.
    I bee too busy to card (comb).
    I tell Mom that I need my space.
    I need to fly and not bee tied
    To a mother’s fuzz apron strings.
    Mad Mom takes aim at my backside,
    So I take off before she stings.

    As I buzz off, Mom yells at me,
    “You’re one worthless son of a bee.”

  • Sherina

    Are these carder bees also called bumble bees?

  • Hi Sherina – Bumblebees and Carder bees are not the same – they are different species. Carder bees are strictly solitary and females make their nests alone, while you can find bumblebees sharing nests and working together…

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

Social Media