A selection of my garden wildlife videos

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 […]

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 […]

A life and death struggle for the unfortunate hoverfly larva Having a little time to go looking amongst the wildlife meadow brings rewards. I have never seen this before and the action caught my attention. A parasitoid wasp attempting then succeeding to oviposit inside an unlucky hoverfly larva. Here we have a biological pest controller, […]

The pest controller is coming to kill the bees I was called out to this address, 2nd May, late morning, to suggest what to do with an active bee nest in the garden. It was in an area which was to be part of a lawn as the whole garden was being landscaped. Work was put on […]

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 […]

Easter Blue tit eggs and easter Red mason bee cocoons I hope the Blue tits fare better this year than last year 2016 I notice that this female has found a tennis ball as the female did last year! I wonder if it is the same female or even the same tennis ball? Easter Sunday […]

Ivy a magnet for garden birds Something caught my eye the other morning moving around my raised beds. I waited and saw this single fledging Robin. It was just a few yards from a nest I watched the female make, and then watched the two parents busy to -ing and fro -ing with food for […]

This is not a bee hotel! It is a solitary bee nest box with observation windows! In the film you will see, besides 6 different solitary bee species, a Coelioxys cuckoo bee and not often seen or filmed, its larva with egg crushing or larva killing mandibles. I watched this cuckoo bee and when it […]

Tree bumblebee queen gets just the right tonic! I was just leaving today to go to give a garden bumblebee talk at Risley Moss when I saw this exhausted queen Bombus hypnorum right on my drive. This time of the year I have a bag of fructose handy for this very reason. 50/50 dissolved in […]

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, […]