Sapyga quinquepunctata? sleeping inside Nurturing Nature Nestbox

BWARS states that Sapyga quinquepunctata is a cleptoparasite of solitary bees, including the Red mason bee (Osmia bicornis), O. leaiana, O. caerulescens (Blue Mason bee) and  O. aurulenta. Sapyga quinquepunctata is often found in my wildlife garden and resting inside my nest boxes.

Sapyga quinquepunctata sting used as ovipositor to penetrate cell wall

This is just one of 7 species of solitary bee enemies I have filmed. BWARS also states that it forages on certain flower species, although Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is not mentioned. Either my wasp species ID is wrong or this specimen is unaware of the BWARS list!! (Along with other specimens I observed.) Females have two red abdomen segments as shown in the film. As some of this film was taken in August I assume that they are females, as males are most often only found in May and June. I suspect the male solitary bee sharing the same cavity may well be O. caerulescens? which I have already filmed.

“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my presentations 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

Wasp larva kills bee larva

The solitary bee larva or egg is doomed. The larvae of the wasps, grow large mandibles with which they kill the bee larva or destroy the egg, whilst inside the cell. Then as it grows and sheds its skin the mandibles fall away and it consumes the stored food foraged by the female solitary bee for its own larva.

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 website feature within Steve Falk’s Flickr website which furnishes extra photos and other useful resources to assist with identification.

Solitary Bees book by Ted Benton

Interested in Citizen Science and pollinators? The Buzz Club 

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