Gardening For Wildlife

The swinging log bee hotel! In all of the research, papers, etc., I have read about solitary bee nest boxes, they all state such bee nest boxes needed to be secure, fixed and stable when erected. Marc Carlton on his excellent web site, which I can thoroughly recommend “The Pollinator Garden”, states the same. The film […]

Birds ‘n’ Bees Presentation 11 am Sunday 23rd July Risley Moss Local Nature Reserve The fifth in a series of fascinating talks by naturalist George Pilkington, this time about the courtship and nesting habits of both garden birds and bees. Learn how some bees are actually ousting birds from their completed nests! Cost – £3 […]

What a lovely looking beetle! A Golden-bloomed grey longhorn beetle? Since I had my boring lawn converted to a wildflower meadow, there have been loads of new species that visit it. Too many for me to know each and every single one. It would require a whole new learning curve for that ever to happen and mean many […]

Foraging queen Bombus hortorums and their nests in my wildlife garden I have had several Bombus hortorum nests in my garden nest boxes over the years. Every single one, including the two shown here, was  “wax mothed”! by Aphomia sociella. None had the protection of the bumblebee ‘cat flap’. The first one shown in the […]

Pink rose petals for this leafcutter bee’s cell! I saw this pink blur out of the corner of my eye and investigated to find this beautiful pink rose petalled nest inside my solitary bee nest box, made by what is probably a patchwork leafcutter bee (Megachile centuncularis). Pink rose petals for this leafcutter bee’s cell not […]

Win a Nurturing Nature Solitary Bee Observation Box  Simply take a photograph of pollinators: bees, wasps or hoverflies and submit to the Buzz Club….free entry, read below. A Hidden Buzz The theme for this July’s Buzz Club competition is ‘hidden or rarely noticed’ insects in our gardens and parks. Look closely, and there are dozens of bees, […]

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 tiny 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 […]

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 is attempting then succeeding to oviposit inside an unlucky hoverfly larva. Here we have a biological pest controller, […]