Solitary Bee Observation Box

Probably Osmia leaiana or a ‘pesto bee!’ A medium sized summer bee which has a bright orange pollen collecting brush (scopa) on her underside abdomen. It is also known as the Orange-vented Mason bee. As she does not use pieces of leaf (Leafcutter bee) or mud (Red mason bee) to make her brood cells, she uses masticated plant […]

Gasteruption jaculator solitary wasp checks out my nest boxes This is a presumed Gasteruption jaculator solitary wasp. What a great name, I wonder what it is based upon? Its another new species I have noticed in the garden since I had my boring lawn ripped out and a wildflower meadow planted to replace it! More […]

Kew Gardens take possession of award winning wild bee nest boxes Nurturing Nature Bumblebee nest boxes formed part of the huge and impressive “Hive”  as well as being used elsewhere at Kew for bumblebee research by Dr. Hauke Koch ” The bumblebee boxes worked well although the wet weather did not help the bumblebees!” “The solitary […]

Red Mason bee Osmia bicornis, from egg, larva to cocoon Unlike bumblebees and honeybees, which live in a social nest together as a family and work as such for the benefit of their siblings, Red Mason bees (Osmia bicornis) are just one species in a much larger family of numerous solitary bee species. In the […]

First ever male wool carder bees in garden and nest boxes! The wool carder bee, (Anthidium manicatum), arriving in my wildlife garden absolutely took me by surprise. I was even more surprised when I found several males sleeping in my nest boxes! First time I have seen them in my garden. I saw one and […]

Pesticides and Bees:Keeping Bees Safe In Our Gardens Research Project  Prof. Dave Goulson and Walacea (Back science you believe in) have joined forces to help you to help bees and buy truly bee friendly flowers. To get some background information read my article, ‘How friendly are bee ‘friendly’ plants from garden centres?‘ Read on to enter competition. […]

Bees and apple pollination, a bite sized view! Scientists have researched which species pollinates these apples and how much is it worth in the UK. You can download their paper  Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity. Garratt et al 2016 or use the image!!! Now, where’s my new improved  orchard bee […]

PLEASE clean your Red Mason bee (Osmia bicornis) cocoons! Pollen mites attach themselves to bees using huge claws, then hitch a lift, drop off on flowers, feed up, and hitch a return lift courtesy of another bee. Once inside the safe environment of a red mason bee’s cell, they breed and can soon become many thousands inside one […]

Cold, chilled 1st Female Red Mason bee 2016 On 21st April, the weather here was unseasonably warm in my south facing sun trap garden. Early afternoon, I looked inside my orchard bee nest box.  and saw two Red Mason males (Osmia bicornis) had emerged and flown away, their empty cocoons testament to that. As early evening approached the […]

Help solve the mystery of the UK’s back garden butterflies Butterfly Conservation’s newly launched Garden Butterfly Survey will attempt to lift the lid on how garden butterflies are faring. The survey will reveal garden butterfly declines and increases, how they are affected by climate change, what plants they really prefer and the best size and location […]