Solitary Bee Observation Box

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 […]

Help the Soil Association to achieve a total ban of neonicotinoids. The new DDT? Something unthinkable is happening. Neonicotinoids are still contaminating our countryside, and poisoning our wildlife. A new study from Sussex University, part-funded by the Soil Association, confirms the impact of neonicotinoids or ‘neonics’ may be far worse than we thought. Neonics are toxic […]

Bamboo canes and nesting blocks for solitary bees In the right hands, bamboo canes have been successfully used for years to attract solitary bees to nest inside. The key words here are ‘in the right hands’. People who successfully use them know what bees need, how to adapt the canes for the bee’s requirements, how to safely open […]

Many solitary wasps are pest controllers! Not all wasps sting us! In fact most do not. They never show any interest in humans whatsoever. Yet they have such a bad name because a few may sting. They prey upon smaller invertebrates. Stinging social wasps and many non stinging solitary wasps are out and out hunters. Stingers chew their […]

Rusty the Red Mason bee up to his antics again! I have often seen males on females and filmed them. Yet they were not actually copulating. If anything the males were simply ‘piggy backing’ on the females. I watched as males thrusts their whole body forward making a fast vibrating sound. The ‘business’ end of their […]