Monodontomerus wasp silent deadly red mason bee assassin-video

May 24, 2014

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Gardening For Wildlife, Other organisations, Red mason solitary bees, Solitary Bee Observation Box

Monodontomerus wasp silent killer of bees video for BWARS presentation 2013

I was asked to give a presentation about bees to BWARS at their AGM, Liverpool World Museum 29th Sept 2013. Well I thought, as an amateur and hobby wildlife gardener what on earth can I talk about to interest wasp and bee scientists, academics and specialists that they did n’t know already? Or were they expecting a scouse comedian?!!

Monodontomerus ovipositing through mud. Nurturin Nature jpg


For many years I have learnt how to stop Monodontomerus wasps killing my red mason bees, simply because they are so destructive. What if I made a video by allowing the wasps access to  the inside of my nest boxes and filmed it? So I did, calling it The ‘Design and development of educational wild bee nest boxes allowing for observational studies’. The filming had several positive and negative repercussions, something I had not envisaged.


Loosing perhaps 150+ bee larvae in cocoons.

Time and effort spent rectifying the actual loss, damage limitation and potential loss of more bees.


This experience enabled me to design the nest boxes to give better protection from the wasps.

Rewrite my instructions to give better management control of them for my customers.

I have made several informative videos.

I learnt: How devastating they actually are, more about their emergence times, how determined they are to find cocoons, how they actually do find them, how successful they can be and much more.

Never to do allow monos into my nest boxes again!

I hope you find it interesting, it is only part of the actual BWARS video.

Bees Wasps and Ants Recording Society (BWARS)

“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

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Africa Gomez May 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Wow, great video. I love to see how the ovipositor works. In positives I would write learning about parasites, which are as much a part of nature as predators. Their way of life is often perilous and challenging, and they wont thrive unless their host population is thriving too. See what happened to Melecta luctuosa after its host Anthophora retusa declined rapidly: the parasite went extinct before the host.


nurturingnature May 24, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Oh I know Africa! Just that I lost so many bees to make this film and wonder whether it was worth the death of so many bees 🙁 will check out your species.Thanks for your ‘Wow, great video’ though!


Sara June 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

I’ve got lots of bee tubes. I’m sure I saw this wasp visiting them. Is there a way to prevent this? I know it’s part of nature but I hate it.



nurturingnature June 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Yes, remove them as soon as the bees stop foraging for pollen, if not before and store them. Full instructions come with my solitary be nest box!! Cheers George


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