Leafcutter bees

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 […]

Scouse Leafcutter bees nest building on Liverpool allotment site! The children called these bees the ‘Cigar ‘ bees, red masons the ‘Mud’ bees and Osmia leaiana, the ‘Pesto’ bees, (which use masticated leaf matter to divide their cells). Could n’t put it better myself! For more information about the award winning solitary bee observation box […]

Solitary bees. The least known and forgotton pollinators  “We face a catastrophe in future years unless we act now. Wild pollinators need greater protection. They are the unsung heroes of the countryside, providing a critical link in the food chain for humans and doing the work for free that would otherwise cost British farmers £1.8bn to […]

What better, safer way to teach children about bees? I had a really interesting and enjoyable day recently, when beside meeting some lovely people, I was manning a stall displaying my nest boxes containing red mason bee larvae, at the Royal Entomological Society Insect Festival, York, early this month. A family of four stopped at my […]

Solitary bee inside nest cavity viewed through window Instead of using cut pieces of leaves as a solitary leafcutter bee does, in its ‘cigar’ style nest linings and unlike a Red mason bee, Osmia bicornis, that uses mud, this solitary bee uses masticated plant material to line the cells and separate them. I used a piece of […]