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Posts from the ‘Solitary Bees’ Category

Four-banded flower bee

Four-banded flower bee, Anthophora quadrimaculata, female

Anthophora quadrimaculata, female

I photographed this Four-banded flower bee Anthophora quadrimaculata during a weekend bee workshop run by Steven Falk, author of the recently published Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland. I think it shows the diagnostic bluey-grey eyes rather well. The course was just one of many hosted by Sallyann Spence at Berrycroft Hub on a working farm just north of Swindon at Ashbury on the Wiltshire/Oxfordshire border. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it, excellent company, good weather and we even got driven up onto the downs in a 1977 Daimler Pinzgauer high-mobility all-terrain 6WD ex-Swiss army military utility vehicle… what’s not to like? Read more

Red Mason Bee

Red Mason Bee – Osmia bicornis (Male)

Osmia bicornis – male

I really look forward to seeing these handsome little chaps each year. The Red mason bee Osmia bicornis is a species of solitary bee often seen in spring and early summer, usually from late March to early June, although this year due to the very cold weather they’ve been a little late. The males appear first, up to two weeks before the females and so like the male pictured above they spend a fair bit of time preening and sunbathing before the girls arrive.

These are extremely friendly bees. The male has no sting and the female will only sting if handled very roughly and even then the sting is very mild in comparison to the sting of a wasp, bumblebee or honey-bee. So these are good bees for children to get up close to and observe. Read more