Ichneumonid wasp investigating screw in solitary bee nest box!

I saw this Ichneumonid wasp (Ephialtes manifestator?) using her antennae to feel the outside wooden casing of my orchard solitary bee nest box. This behaviour I have seen used by many other parasitoid wasps in the presence of their hosts, so I decided to keep an eye on her! I have already had a Gasteruption jacultor another ichneumon wasp a few days ago, checking out the very same nest box.

Probing a screw with her long ovipositor

If it is a Ephialtes manifestator, then according to the Natural History Museum, these ichneumonid wasps do parasitise solitary bees and other solitary wasps. You can see a lovely shot of the wasp on a solitary bee nest box here at Grantham Ecology  along with other beautiful photos of bees, its well worth a visit. Perhaps this wasp did indeed have a screw loose!!

However I must admit there were solitary bee larvae inside the actual nest box, well safe from even this ichneumonid wasps ovipositor! She was miles away! (Well ok, 6 inches higher and 2 1/2″ deeper!)

Some species of Ichneumon wasps can be beneficial as a biological control of agricultural pests.

Download NHM Beginner’s guide to identifying ichneumonids

What is killing our bees? Presentation Risley Moss

18.06.2017 Bumblebee pests, enemies, etc.

Another fascinating talk by local naturalist George Pilkington, this time focussing on the disturbing disappearance of our bees, including loss of forage, loss of habitat, use of nest boxes/ sites, diseases, natural pests/predators and neonicotinoids. June 18 11am. Cost – £3 per person – Includes light refreshments George is kindly donating any money generated to the […]

Melittobia acasta entering a sealed Red Mason bee cavity- video

15.06.2017 A selection of my garden wildlife videos

Melittobia acasta is a parasitoid of solitary bees When I saw this I was amazed at the minute size of the gap that this determined parasitoid wasp was in entering the mud sealed nesting cavity of a Red mason (Osmia bicornis) bee. If left unchecked it and its offspring can wipe out all of the […]

Parasitoid Ichneumon wasp oviposits inside hoverfly larva film

12.06.2017 A selection of my garden wildlife videos

A life and death struggle for the unfortunate hoverfly larva Having a little time to go looking amongst the wildlife meadow brings rewards. I have never seen this before and the action caught my attention. A parasitoid wasp attempting then succeeding to oviposit inside an unlucky hoverfly larva. Here we have a biological pest controller, […]

Where can I buy neonicotinoid free and Organic flowers for my bees?

08.06.2017 Bumblebees and their ecology

In 2014 I wrote an article, How friendly are bee friendly plants from garden centres? Like many people when I buy plants I want them to be neonicotinoid free and therefore truly bee and pollinator friendly. My fears were borne out in some recent research (May 2017) by Prof. Dave Goulson  I recently bought several organic plants […]

Nurturing Nature presenting and demonstrating at RHS Harlow Carr Bee Weekend 3-4 June 2017

31.05.2017 Nurturing Nature Talks/Presentations

 Naturing Nature attending the Bee Weekend RHS Harlow Carr 3-4 June 2017 “I contacted George about supporting our Bee weekend at RHS garden Harlow Carr. I was keen to have a wild bee element to the weekend as well as honey bees and bee keeping. George was not only informative and entertaining, he was a great […]

Talking about Garden Wild Bees at Daylesford Organic Farm

12.05.2017 Nurturing Nature Talks/Presentations

Summer Festival Daylesford Organic Farm The Daylesford Summer Festival has fast become a highlight of our year. A day that sees our COTSWOLDS FARM come to life with stalls, workshops, debates, crafts, dog show, sheep dog demonstrations, singing, dancing and of course an array of delicious food – it is not to be missed. Each […]

The pest controller is coming to kill the bees for £60

06.05.2017 A selection of my garden wildlife videos

The pest controller is coming to kill the bees I was called out to this address, 2nd May, late morning, to suggest what to do with an active bee nest in the garden. It was in an area which was to be part of a lawn as the whole garden was being landscaped. Work was put on […]

‘InvitaBee’ Osmia & Leafcutter bee species USDA patented attractant

27.04.2017 Gardening For Wildlife

New to the UK…….Osmia Mason Bee and Leafcutter Bee Attractant I am proud to announce that I may be the first company in the UK to sell this attractant, along with the ‘Humidibee’ safe cocoon storage box, both especially imported here in my quest to increase our wild bee pollinators in our gardens, stimulate interest and […]

WasteBuster wormery with flowers, a bumblebee and a butterfly

21.04.2017 Composting

Bumblebee, butterfly and flowers. What have they to do with a WasteBuster wormery? From this…… This was a team effort by pupils and staff at Lyminge School in Kent – the children came up with the designs. The adults then drew them onto the wormery and painted it during the holidays. I think all involved have grabbed […]