Leafcutter 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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bee Summit Liverpool Guild of Students Bee Keeping Society Join us for a day of activities to show you just how important bees are in our environment. We have workshops like bee identification and bee friendly seed bombing during the day and talks during the evening in the Mandela Room! The schedule for the talks […]

A war zone inside a leafcutter bee cocoon After coming across Monodontomerus wasps and then Pteromalus wasps, my next customer to film was this minute chalcid wasp Melittobia acastsa. It is not fussy which bee it targets. In fact it targets several species of bees and even wasps, flies and in the labs of researchers, […]

Spider with eggs inside solitary bee nest box video Spiders and other creature use solitary bee nest boxes overwinter. This female had her eggs inside and was watching over them. This is just one example of why you should have a solitary bee nest box that you can access for cleaning and see what is inside before […]

My article “Do neonicotinoids affect other wildlife as well as bees? The new DDT?” made me realise that to keep abreast of this mounting evidence that they do affect other non targeted wildlife, I decided to collate science papers and corresponding press articles to allow people who don’t generally have access to the scientific knowledge enabling you to make […]