Friday, 14 August 2015

New Bee for the garden !

I have had a good selection of Bee's around the garden and pear tree this year, including the Tree Bumblebee, Early Bumblebee, Garden Bumblebee, Red Tailed Bumblebee, White Tailed Bumblebee,  Buff tailed Bumblebee, and the Carder Bee, these are all fairly common Bumblebee's but nice to see them all in one small patch of suburbia, albeit not at the same time.

I blogged earlier this year on the Honey Bee's that were visiting one of my flowering shrubs, and of course, not forgetting the Hairy footed flower Bees that kept me entertained earlier in the summer. 

I have also recorded a solitary Bee in the form of the Ivy Mining Bee, although not this year yet.

Ivy Mining Bee

So a few weeks ago ,while wandering around the garden, I noticed this little Bee just sitting on a leaf, not feeding, not doing anything in particular.

I just couldn't  seem to correctly identify it, and to be honest I wasn't even sure it was a Bee, I did even consider some sort of Hoverfly.

I didn't think much more on it until recently while looking at Rainham RSPB blog site, there was my  unidentified Bee, a female Leaf-cutter Bee or to be more precise   Megachile centuncularis  

A quick read up on it and the article stated that rose leafs were one of its favoured materials for  building the 'cells' in which their larvae live, I checked the few Rose bushes in the garden and there was the evidence, the little semicircular cut outs in the leafs, and as sad as this sounds I have even counted the cut outs to check if there is any more activity around the roses.

Evidence of Leaf-cutter Bees at work

The crazy thing is that I have had one of those 'Insect hotels' in the garden for some time now, with plenty of vacancies. I don't know why I did not consider that earlier.
 Some more research revealed that my insect hotel is in totally the wrong place, I had placed it within the ivy, in the shade, and next to the pond, they need to be positioned where they will receive the early morning sunshine so that the bees can warm up. so I have now repositioned this to receive the early morning sun,

I know they are in the garden although I have only seen this one Bee on the leaf, I am now checking the Insect hotel daily now in the hope that the Leaf-cutter Bees will discover it.

It would be really nice to capture an image of the leaf-cutter at work or around the insect hotel.
so fingers crossed.

The Leaf-cutter Bee is on the wing from April to August, and feeds solely on pollen and nectar, so there's still a slight chance I may see one in action.


  1. The bee house I positioned for my folks was obviously in the wrong place, will move it to front of house for next year.

    1. Good luck with yours, I suspect I will not see any leaf-cutters until next year too.
      ps- liking the new camera shots on your blog.