Wool Carder bee at work
The European Wool Carder bees Anthidium manicatum are back in the garden.
I have observed several busily collecting for their nests fibers from under Lamb's Ear leaves.
The females are the collectors, scraping hairs off the surfaces of leaves and stems, in this case Lamb's Ears.
The fibers form a cotton-like mass, which the females then stuff into their nesting cavities, creating a series of brood chambers from the soft balls.
In the photo above, the bee is landing on a Lamb's Ear leaf, getting ready to collect fiber.
Here she is preparing to fly back to her nest with the ball of fiber.
This is another female forming her fiber ball.
Getting a good grip on the mass, preparing to fly back to her nest.