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Katanning Environmental Nursery visitors catch the bug

Daniel RooneyGreat Southern Herald
Finding bugs means getting up close.
Camera IconFinding bugs means getting up close. Credit: Daniel Rooney

Entomologist Dr Sue Jaggar hosted a bug meet and greet at the Katanning Environmental Nursery on Saturday, February 4.

Bees have many defensive adaptations.
Camera IconBees have many defensive adaptations. Credit: Daniel Rooney

The star insect of the afternoon safari was the bee, both the introduced honey bee and the much smaller native bee.

While the honey bee is essential for pollination and food production, they are a menace in the bush, where they compete against the native bee and benefit from adaptations that local species do not possess.

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Nets were swung over branches and specialised bug vacuum guns were used to collect insects for identification before they were released without harm.

Among the many bees studied in the field, the wasp mimic bee (Hyleoides concinna) was the most interesting to encounter.

The native bee has evolved a long thin body and banding similar to wasp, an effective deception that helps avoid predation.

Photographs of the many insects that live happily at the nursery.
Camera IconPhotographs of the many insects that live happily at the nursery. Credit: Daniel Rooney
The native bee is much smaller than the introduced honey bee.
Camera IconThe native bee is much smaller than the introduced honey bee. Credit: Daniel Rooney
Dr Jaggar investigates a catch.
Camera IconDr Jaggar investigates a catch. Credit: Daniel Rooney
Bev Lockley examines a bug.
Camera IconBev Lockley examines a bug. Credit: Daniel Rooney
Magnifying aids assisted identification.
Camera IconMagnifying aids assisted identification. Credit: Daniel Rooney
Hamish Cawdell.
Camera IconHamish Cawdell. Credit: Daniel Rooney
A tiny native bee emerges from the centre of a blossom.
Camera IconA tiny native bee emerges from the centre of a blossom. Credit: Daniel Rooney

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