Thursday, September 29, 2011

How many zoologists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Last night I noticed that one of the back porch pot lights was out.  I remembered to replace it this morning.  I unscrewed the bulb, and found it had been accessorized.

By whom, I'm not sure.  My guess is a solitary bee, such as Osmia, which I often see at the back of the house in spring and early summer.  There seem to be four egg-cells affixed to the bulb, oriented left to right in the above image.  I have two mason bee houses that get a fair amount of use every year.  They're on the wall, not far from the light.  Perhaps one bee decided to think outside the box, had a lightbulb over its head. 

Update: Sally, from Foothills Fancies, suggested these to be mud dauber pots, perhaps of genera Sceliphron or Chalybion (See comments). I haven't seen any here, but that may be due to my haphazard monitoring of the back yard. Mud dauber would make more sense, as mason bees tend to use pre-existing tubes or tunnels.

I don't really need that light to be working over the next several months--the dark, rainy season when the back porch is used more for storage than anything else.  I carefully returned the dead bulb to its socket.

How many zoologists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  

Only one, but don't be surprised if the light still doesn't work.


biobabbler said...

=) A great example of consequences people probably don't think about when one become attuned to the planet.

Workin' in thuh dahk.

Love it.

Yeah, bees! =)

Eskarina said...

How marvelous!

Sally said...

If I saw that around here, I'd think it belonged to a mud dauber (see Sceliphron and Chalybion for examples)-- we have more of the latter, the blue mud dauber (with patent-leather black body), here.

What do mason bees put in their pots? Mud daubers fill them with spiders.

Either way, very cool, and nice of you to be so accommodating!

Hugh said...

Sally, Thanks for the suggestions. I think you're probably correct. BTW, mason bees place plugs of pollen among their eggs. Less creepy than a bunch of doomed spiders. (Maybe this explains the spidearth I mentioned in a previous post).

Out walking the dog said...

Very cool little story. Will the mud daubers or bees use it through the fall?

Hugh said...

OWTD, my guess is they will overwinter in there, in what stage (as eggs?), I'm not sure. I'll check periodically.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

None. What does being a zoologist have anything to do with screwing in a light bulb? Sorry, I'm still a bit testy.