The apiary is from the town of Gemert. In addition to the bees that live in colonies inside the hives, you will also come across wild bees at the museum.
The Hairy-Footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes)
The Hairy-Footed Flower Bee is a solitary bee that builds its nests in steep walls of loam, marl or sand. For the bee, the marl and loam wall of our Limburg farmhouse provides just such a nesting site. This species of bee can be seen flying around the farmhouse from Krawinkel from the end of February through to May.
The Orange-Shouldered Blister Beetle (Sitaris muralis)
The extremely rare Orange-Shouldered Blister Beetle needs the Hairy-Footed Flower Bee to reproduce. In the spring the beetle larva crawls onto a male bee as the bee leaves its nest. While the bee is mating, in mid-air, the beetle larva then crawls onto the female bee. The larva enters the nest hole with the female bee and feeds on the bee’s eggs and food store. You can see Orange-Shouldered Blister Beetles in August, when they reach maturity and mate. The female beetle then lays her eggs close to the nest of the Hairy-Footed Flower Bee and the whole cycle starts again the following spring.
Surprisingly, since 2011 this combination of insects has been nesting in our farmhouse from Krawinkel. The wall they are using for their nests is built in a style particularly associated with the province of Limburg, where loam was a popular building material.