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Archive for November, 2009

It is rare for any species of animal to regularly kill its own in combat. However, male Dawson’s bees, one of the world’s largest bee species, are so aggressive that they kill each other en masse in a bid to mate with females.

The bees enter a frenzy of fighting, and by the time their deadly combat is over, every male bee is either killed or has perished. The extreme behaviour, which can lead to even females being killed, is caught on film by a BBC natural history crew.

Dawson’s bees (Amegilla dawsoni) are large burrowing bees that nest in the baked soil of the Australian outback.

[Read full article] (includes great footage from the BBC series Life)

ETA: Amegillas form a genus of large bees that has around 250 species. Some of its members are important agricultural pollinators in Australia and other tropical and sub-tropical areas. The blue-banded bee uses vibration to obtain pollen (buzz pollination). The beautifully named teddy bear bee is also a species of amegilla.

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Conservationists in Northumberland have used satellite technology to pinpoint 69 rare ants’ nests before work to fell thousands of trees begins.

The nests, made of conifer needles, are home to the hairy northern wood ant. (eta: Formica lugubris)

The Forestry Commission is removing 10,000 tonnes of conifer planted in the 20th Century to restore the area to its ancient roots as an oak wood.

Foresters will be provided with the nests’ GPS co-ordinates to ensure they do not damage them.

[Read full article] (includes a small video news report)

BBC New Online

Here’s the same story covered by the Forestry Commission.

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