Author Gary Taylor ◦

My posts are usually happy but this one’s a bit of a sad one… I was standing near my BeeTown, but just back a bit ‘cos I’d noticed several different male Megachiles using a nearby post as a lookout spot for chicks, and one looked like it might be the male of the up until now elusive female Megachile (Thaumatosoma) duboulaii, that has become a new tenant recently…

Anyway, as I was standing there, something dropped out of the sky, bounced off my shoulder and fell to the ground. I looked down and saw this gorgeous little Leioproctus (pretty sure plumosus), crawling amongst the leaf litter on the ground…

Death of the Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor
Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor

Really odd, they don’t usually just fall out of the sky. I have them nesting here, nearest nest being only a few feet away, they always come in flying low to the ground…

She seemed confused at the start, more than just disorientated, like she wasn’t quite sure what was happening… by the second pic she knew something was wrong, she was starting to feel real bad…

Death of the Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor
Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor

Despite me being this close her antennae are down and her eyes aren’t watching me, she’s focused on what’s happening inside her…

Third pic, She looks up at me with big sad eyes and asks “Why?… Why is your kind so desperate to wipe out all other living things???…” 😢

Death of the Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor
Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor

I kinda want to explain that I’ve long since forfeited on the human race, was truly embarrassed to be part of it… but I don’t have time, so I just apologize profusely on behalf of all the a$$holes killing our planet with chemicals and ignorance…

She looks fresh out of the nest to me, all shiny fluffy and new, and yet she’s rupturing inside from poison. Her cleanliness makes me doubt she’s even had time to feed on a plant sprayed with pesticide, one of the most common killers of native bees, I think it started earlier…

Fourth pic is one of the Leioproctus plumosus nests nearby. True, if you didn’t know what it was, the nest of a beautiful native bee that does nothing but make the planet we share a better place, and you were an ignorant a$$hole, you might think it was just an ant or spider or wasp nest or something else that you found a petty inconvenience in your life that needed spraying… so if you see something like this in your yard, just leave it the hell alone and let nature bee!…

Leioproctus plumosus nest © Gary Taylor
Nest of the Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor

😡 First angry face I’ve ever used… 🤬 your pesticides and need to kill everything…

Fifth pic, she struggled on a few more inches and climbed up on a chunk of broken brick where she started waking around in tight circles like her whole world was spinning around (which I reckon was to her) and she was trying to keep up, then she pulled herself to a halt, click goes the pic, we both know she was losing it…

Death of the Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor
Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor

She climbed down and hid under a leaf in the dark, perhaps to avoid the spinning world or perhaps just to be alone in her last few moments to ponder such a short existence, until last pic (which is deliberately the sixth pic so you don’t have to see it unless you click on it) where in her final seconds she came out from under the leaf knowing her time had come and if she was going to die she was going to do it in sunlight… her back arched in agony, her legs splayed out in one final almost loving grip of the beautiful world she only got to glimpse… and that was it… she fell over on her side, gave one final death rattle and was gone…

Death of the Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor
Death of the Leioproctus plumosus © Gary Taylor

I couldn’t take the next pic, the one of her on her side with her little tongue poking out… it was too sad… 🙁