Solitary bee targeted by solitary wasp as a ‘take away’ meal-video

January 12, 2014

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Gardening For Wildlife, Insects, Red mason solitary bees

Solitary bee targeted by solitary wasp and survives

We know most wasps are not social, not because they won’t leave you alone as you drink your pint!, but because they are known as solitary wasps. They live a solitary life as opposed to living with other wasps (their sisters and brothers) in a communal nest. All wasps are predators and some are even scavengers as well… this one chewing upon a dead blackbird, not for itself, but for the larvae back at its nest. It prefers other foods , which later in its life may include your beer or cream cake!

Social wasp scavenging upon a dead blackbird

They prey upon smaller invertebrates including honey bees  even if the bees are outside their busy bee hives.  The wasps either chew up and feed the prey to their young or as in the case of solitary wasps, prey items are captured, taken away and left as provisions for their developing larvae.

In this case, the solitary bee (possibly Andrena similis) was busy  feeding upon lasts years parsnips that I had left to flower as an insect attractant on an allotment site in Garston, Liverpool a few hundred yards from the River Mersey. The wasp, (Ectemnius continuus/cavifrons?) attempted to carry it off, but the bee was too large, eventually flicking the wasps from its back! It is all over in a flash, so watch the video and you will see the attack, the take away meal that did n’t want to go! Filmed 25/6/13

“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

For more information about solitary bees and wasps visit BWARS


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine Hutchings January 13, 2014 at 2:19 pm

What a cool bee: one flick of its leg and the attacker was shaken off and then it just continued pollinating as though nothing had happened.


nurturingnature January 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Now Elaine that is soooo cool. Bee, “Trying to make a meal out of me? Well take that, now buzz off”! 🙂


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