Monodontomerus and jewel wasp seeking out red mason bee cells at the same time-video

November 1, 2012

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

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Monodontomerus and jewel wasps

Both of these wasps lay their eggs inside the cells of some solitary bees. The small black monodontomerus has to use her ovipositor to lay her eggs, perhaps 10 or more inside the cocoon spun by the bee larva. Her larvae will dine on the unfortunate bee larva, which itself is imprisoned in its own cell. There is no escape. She may also have to find a way inside the mud sealed cells to actually get to lay inside the cocoon. The cuckoo jewel wasp has a different strategy, she will await until the unsuspecting solitary bee leaves her open cell, dash in and lay her egg in the cell. The resulting larva will eat the bee egg and the pollen provisioned by the bee for her now dead offspring. These two have found a convenient solitary bee box with bee larvae inside.

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


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