Solitary mining bee nest being sought out by cuckoo bee-video

May 27, 2014

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

Possibly Andrena nigroaenea and a cleptoparasitic ‘wasp like’ bee (Nomada leucophthalma?) in my wildlife garden

Besides red masons, leaf cutters and a few other solitary bees nesting in my garden I have mining bees making their nests in soil behind wooden planks in my terraced wildlife garden.

I am assuming that they are Andrena nigroaenea. They always hatch first in my garden and I often see them foraging on my Kilmarnock willow. The female bee constructs a burrow or tunnel, with offshoot burrows, where she will lay an egg and leave a pollen store for her offspring. Bees do have predators and pests just like another organism, even if they make tunnels underground. This ‘wasp like’ bee flew around the wooden boards finding gaps, crawling inside, flying around again and again. It was trying to find the bees cache of pollen left for its own larvae. This wasp had red markings on its thorax and abdomen. If it is Nomada leucophthalma  it is a cleptoparasite. The cuckoo bee larvae will probably hatch, kill the solitary bee larvae or destroy the egg and eat the pollen stored by the solitary bee.


Nurturing Nature Andrena clarkella?


Predators: organisms that kill and consume many prey items during their lifetime; e.g. cheetah

Parasites: an organism that depends upon another organism for its life support system by living inside its host or on the surface; e.g. head lice. Some parasites may even effect the behaviour of its host to benefit the parasite.

Parasitoids: specialist organisms that develop within or on its host, usually ending in the gruesome death of the host; e.g. encarsia formosa, the tiny wasp used by organic gardeners to control aphids by eating the adult greenfly alive from the inside.

Cleptoparasites: when one organism takes or steals the food or nest material of another organism, e.g. I have watched a blackbird whilst it watched a thrush as it smashed a snail’s shell and then stole the snail! Or have you ever had your chips stolen by a passing seagull? !


Refs:  Beside my own observations and experiences

For more information about bees and wasps…Bees Wasps and Ants Recording Society  BWARS


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: