A Symmorphus bifasciatus (?) wasp sealing her cavity – video

November 1, 2012

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Red mason solitary bees

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Symmorphus bifasciatus wasp

The wasp was provisioning the cells in the cavity (plastic tubes inside a solitary bee nest box), with between 8-12  with what I thought may be some species of saw fly. After further investigating them, I believe now that they look like the willow leaf beetle larvae, Phyllodecta vulgatissima. The beetle larvae were mostly immobile, with just the very occasional flicker of movement from the head, certainly no crawling or other movement. To achieve this she must have paralysed each one. Each individual cell was sealed. Inside each cell was single small elongated oval egg, greyish white, deposited on the wall of the plastic tube. In one case, two such eggs were laid. Unfortunately many of these cells have fallen to mould, probably due to moister and the wet weather.

After sealing her cavity she goes searching other mud sealed holes, some may already contain her own young and the larger holes belonged to red mason bees. She tried to bite the mud from these possibly trying to use it to finish off sealing her own cavity. This mud was far too hard for her.

ee my new Registered Design award winning solitary bee box and bumblebee nest box both of which are radical, practical and educational, offering them a safer nesting environment in which you can observe the bees. Great for schools!

For more information about solitary bees and wasps visit BWARS

For more bumblebee information and to help save bumblebees join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at Stirling University

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