Friday 23 March 2012

Solitary bees are back!

In the last week I have been spotting more and more species of solitary bees around. First on scene, as usual, at the beginning of March, Anthophora plumipes, the Hairy Footed Flower bee. Then, a couple of days ago I saw the first Andrena fulva (Tawny mining bee) and yesterday I saw a couple of unidentified Andrena sp. (below). Today the garden was buzzing with at least 4 males A. plumipes, and a female feeding on Erysimum, and the cast was complete when in the afternoon a male Osmia rufa (Red Mining Bee) turned up and stopped to bask on the wooden frame of the conservatory (above). All of them have broken records as to how early they have appeared in the year compared to my previous records, which is not surprising given how mild this winter has been. From a few days to a few weeks before previous years, just as many flowers are also blooming early. The Red Mason Bees breed in our bee hotel, but we have been making another one from reclaimed floorboards and canes, I will push to finish it this weekend as females won't take long to appear.
 Are your bees early too?
Andrena sp.
Another Andrena enjoying a Dandelion
The new bee hotel in construction

1 comment:

Rob said...

It's great to see these bees around.

Good job with your bee hotel - I'm sure the bees will soon be checking in!