Leafcutter bees

Red Mason bee, Osmia bicornis, Osmia leaiana cocoons and a leafcutter bee cell to compare Lined next to each other for comparison, with the pesto bee! Osmia leaiana cocoon left inside its cell in situ and the other two added. As with other solitary bee cocoons, usually the female is larger than a male, depending upon […]

Managing Solitary bees in my garden I am regularly asked why do I manage my solitary bees instead of just leaving them outdoors like most other people inside their bee house. I find it absolutely fascinating, educational and interesting. I have learnt so much about their ecology, foraging, species using them, nesting, biology and the […]

Reasons to remove your solitary bee nest boxes 1. Parasitoids wasps, e.g. Monodontomerus This Nurturing Nature Orchard solitary bee nest box was completely full of Red Mason bee larvae, when in my own garden a short while after this photograph was taken. The larvae inside become the target for Monodontomerus wasps that actively seek out the bee […]

Are honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees safe from the Asian Hornet? The Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina, or yellow legged hornet, is the first invasive predator of honeybees and has now arrived in the UK. It is known to have caused serious problems for European honeybees Apis mellifera. Hives provide a large food resource, concentrated in a small area. As […]

Do female solitary bees give  ‘hands off’ signals to harassing males? Female solitary bees are accosted by males especially if they believe her to be unfertilised. Fertilised females are very busy with the physical and energy demands of collecting pollen or other materials needed by them to provision or build their nests. It would be very useful […]

Why did you buy your bee home? There has been a surge in the number and designs of bee houses (they are not hotels!) you can buy in garden centres. Alas many of them were designed for the wrong reasons. Some designs just don’t work, have harmful or minimal outputs for bees in terms of […]

Red and Blue mason bees nesting in same nest box With Red mason bees and Blue mason bees living together in the same Nurturing Nature solitary bee observation nest box, it’s like Liverpool and Everton supporters living together, which is great!! Besides Red masons, 2 species of leaf cutter bee, Osmia Leaiana and wool carder bees (2016) […]

Which cleptoparasite killed the leafcutter bee larva? Around this particular nest box, used by leafcutter bees, I filmed 7 different solitary bee parasites. There are several suspects that killed the bee larva, though some can be eliminated from the investigation! Monodontomerus wasps, Pteromalus wasps, Chaetodactylus osmiae pollen mites and Cacoxenus indagator fly are all not guilty! I watched […]

The Chalcid wasp that is a small silent assassin of leafcutter bees! I have seen this over the years here and in my last garden. I overlooked it thinking it was a small fly! How wrong I was! I never realised how lethal this wasp is. Pteromalus wasp is very small. I hope you don’t make the same […]

Solitary bees have many enemies. See some for yourself From cuckoo wasps, to cuckoo bees, tiny mites and even a fly all pests of solitary bees. Many of these filmed are sneaky and fast. Whilst the female bee is out they will sneak in, lay their egg and dart out quickly.   Then simply hang […]