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Follow our progress running the nursery, watching wild bees, keeping honey bees and creating our own bee-haven in south Oxfordshire

Solitary bees 2018 - better than telly!

This has become my favourite spot for tea-breaks and late afternoon when my legs tell me its time to sit down. Earlier this year my husband decided we should improve our solitary bee accomodation and added logs with holes drilled, a few plants and lots more 'tubes'. So, I have to credit him with make this our best year ever, at rosybee, for solitary bees.

The first solitary bee activity started in April with the 'red mason' bees (center above), and since then we have also had 'blue masons', 'orange-vented masons' and now the leaf-cutters (right above) have started as well as one 'wool-carder' bee.

Its great to just sit and watch what is going on and being 'stingless' you can sit as close at they will tolerate.

For the last month a single male leaf-cutter bee has been patrolling the pallet stack and chasing off any competition. Initially he was waiting for the girls to come along but now he is protecting thier nests from parasites. This is a big job as not only do we have plenty of bees we also have several 'cuckoo' solitary bees and paratitic wasps. They will will typically  sneak in and lay competing eggs in the solitary bee nests when the lady is out collecting pollen. Our male leafcutter shoos them off all day long. Drama in the log pile!! Better than telly.

by rosi