Leafcutter bees

A beautifully built stone solitary bee hotel I love the ingenuity, creativity, design and appreciate the effort some people put into making a solitary bee nest. I came across this one recently when visiting a showpiece garden which itself contained a busy garden centre. The nest site is beautiful and comes very near the top of my […]

The Hive: Fortnightly findings Every fortnight we welcome special guests to The Hive to talk about bees and wild pollinators. Until 29 October (alternate Sundays). Event details Alternate Sundays 28 May – 29 October 2017 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm TALKS AND CONFERENCES       Venue:    Under The Hive Price: Free with entry to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]