Managing Solitary bees in my garden

I am regularly asked why do I manage my solitary bees instead of just leaving them outdoors like most other people inside their bee house. I find it absolutely fascinating, educational and interesting. I have learnt so much about their ecology, foraging, species using them, nesting, biology and the impacts of the weather. The most fascinating aspect for me, is their pests. Many people are honeybee keepers and manage their bees, I class myself as a wild bee keeper! Some people have other hobbies or interests, this happens to be one of mine!

A bee observation window.

This opened up a whole new world for me, considering the limitations with other nest boxes I have used over the years. Having an observation window literally gave me a much richer experience, especially observational work on their pests and parasites. This has allowed me to increase their population in my garden. They are now spreading to bee houses in my neighbours garden! This knowledge was put to good use when designing products for wild bees, sifting through facts and myths, with many of those details and experiences given in my instructions to customers and via this web site.  Besides, bees are in decline and I would like to feel I am ‘doing my bit’ to help them! This article is simply a collection of research papers/journals with links for you to download if you wish.

Internationally and nationally bees and other insects are in decline.

Why bees are in decline. Photo Dave Goulson

Why bees are in decline. Photo Dave Goulson

“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my  teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries. Please help by spreading the word and forwarding this link to your friends and colleagues.  Thank you” George Pilkington

What happened to those days when we went out into the countryside in our cars to find the front grill and windscreen  splattered with dead insects? Not any more. We started to eliminate them. Here’s how.

2 Review papers here, much easier to digest than the primary papers!

‘The canary in the coalmine; bee declines as an indicator of environmental health’ PDF  Prof. D Goulson & Dr. E Nicholls

A lethal Cocktail

‘Bee Declines driven by combined stress from parasites, pesticides and lack of flowers’ PDF Goulson et al Diet characterisation of solitary bees on farmland: dietary specialisation predicts rarity.

A link to an article by Prof Dave Goulson via the Soil Association. The title says it all re neonicotinoids and any insects visiting the flowers.

The Toxic Bouquet: Pesticide in Farmland Wildflowers


Are we providing the wrong flowers with current Agri-environment schemes?

Diet characterisation of solitary bees on farmland: dietary specialisation predicts rarity. PDF

This one is a bit heavier although the quick snapshot is lighter to read!

The U.N.”s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) “The assessment report on Pollinators, Pollinators and Food Production”  states a 40% decline of pollinating invertebrates, particularly bees and butterflies, are headed towards extinction, with 75% of the world’s food crops depend on pollination by at least one of the 20,000 pollinating species, including, bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, birds, bats and other vertebrates. A quick snapshot can be read here

A whole range of bee related papers can be found from Prof Dave Goulson’s Publications page 

For info and link to buy an excellent book Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland by Steven Falk

An extremely useful resource supports this book by a special web site feature within Steve Falk’s Flickr web site which furnishes extra photos and other useful resources to assist with identification.

For more information about solitary bees visit BWARS

Interested in Citizen Science and pollinators? The Buzz Club 

With Thanks to Prof. Dave Goulson for photo and papers.

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