BWARS

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 […]

New Solitary Bees book Before writing the review, I asked Ted why he wrote the book bearing in mind he is better known for his bumblebee work and this was his reply: Since early childhood I’ve lived a passionate engagement with wildlife – often focussing on the small and close at hand. Insects, especially have always […]

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 […]

Neonicotinoids, a new inadvertent contraceptive for bees? Not only may neonicotinoids be the new DDT, researchers have already found that neonicotinoids can reduce bumblebee queen reproduction by 85%! And now the latest research (see below) shows that neonicotinoids can reduce honeybee drone (male) sperm viability by 39% and reduce their lifespan. How much longer can our bees and other […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]