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Cuckoo jewel wasp
The beautiful but deadly cuckoo jewel wasp, possibly Chrysis ignata? is actively seeking out solitary bee cells, in this case red mason bees. When the unsuspecting solitary bee leaves her cell to provision it, or to find mud to seal it, these wasps sneak inside the cell and lay their own egg. The egg hatches not long afterwards and the larva then eats the bee egg and pollen that its mother had gathered for it.
See 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