Gardening For Wildlife

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 […]

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 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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ptinus sexpunctatus 6 spotted spider beetle not a welcome visitor to Red Mason bee nests! I found several of these beetles when cleaning out an orchard solitary bee nest box, containing Red mason and leafcutter bees. I do not know how they arrive whether they fly in as adults or crawl inside and lay their […]

Easter Blue tit eggs and easter Red mason bee cocoons I hope the Blue tits fare better this year than last year 2016 I notice that this female has found a tennis ball as the female did last year! I wonder if it is the same female or even the same tennis ball? Easter Sunday […]

New Solitary Bees book Before writing the review, I asked Ted why he wrote the book bearing in mind he is better known for his bumblebee work and this was his reply: Since early childhood I’ve lived a passionate engagement with wildlife – often focussing on the small and close at hand. Insects, especially have always […]