Title Photo

A male Red Mason Bee at Freshwater Bay.

Thursday 26 April 2018

Nomada fucata (Painted Nomad Bee)

Nomada fucata is now widespread in southern England although it was once confined to the Dorset coast.Since the 1970's however this parasitic bee has spread its range to cover the area where its host Andrena flavipes, the Yellow-legged Mining Bee is found. This area covers all of southern England as far north as the Midlands, and south Wales. 

Wednesday 25 April 2018

A Grey-patch on the Bluebells.

This female Grey-patched Mining Bee Andrena nitida, was seen today exploring our Bluebells.From late March to mid- July this species is widespread in southern England although peak numbers tend to be in the spring.There are about 65 species of Andrena in Britain and all nest in the soil.

Friday 20 April 2018

Hairy-foots in the Garden.

At this time of the year the Barberry bush is a riot of colour and a firm favourite with bees.Today one of the many visitors to its abundant flowers was a female Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes. This species is a common sight in the south of England and can readily be seen in our gardens. Hairy-footed flower bees often nest in the soft mortar of walls and sometimes in soil.
The females are black and resemble small bumblebees, with orange or yellow hairs on their hind legs.The males are rusty brown in colour and have long hairs on their legs and feet.These features can be seen below.

Saturday 14 April 2018

Sun Shines and Another Springtime Bee.

A look at the Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes today as the sun came out for the first time in days.This male was seen in my garden feeding on the perennial wallflower 'bowles mauve'.

Thursday 12 April 2018

Reviving a Tired Bumblebee.

Following yesterdays sunny spell of weather today has turned cloudy and cold. A walk in the garden led to the discovery of a queen Red-tailed bumblebee seemingly in distress at the base of our full flowering barberry bush.Of course the bee was fine as it is just having  a rest.However she could well do with some sort of reviving in order to continue her pollen collecting.So a small mixture of clean water and sugar proved to be just the ticket. Almost immediately she moved onto the saucer and seemed to enjoy the feed.Revived she then crawled off and disappeared into the border.
Further information on reviving a bee can be found here.


Wednesday 11 April 2018

Spring Species Now Appearing.

Now that the temperatures are slowly on the way up and there is at last more in the way of sunshine an increasing number of springtime bees are to be seen in the garden.Yesterday this female Yellow-legged Mining Bee,Andrena flavipes, found a sunny spot on a bamboo leaf.This is a common solitary bee here at this time of year and is restricted to the south of Britain.
Also on show was a male Andrena bee of a species that I was unable to identify.

A male Andrena,species not known

Monday 26 March 2018

Bees Respond to the Spring Sunshine.

Spring was in the air today albeit briefly and at my local copse quite a few queen bumblebees were on the move.Among the several Buff and White-tailed bumbles seen flying around was this Early Bumblebee.It is my first sighting of the year of this attractive bumblebee.She was very interested in the moss which covered a tree stump.

Friday 16 March 2018

The Belated Spring Weather Brings Out the Bees.

Good to see this Queen Tree Bumblebee(Bombus hypnorum) in my local copse yesterday.Let's hope that the spring weather is here to stay and our bees can get down to work.