How to identify Solitary bees:
If yes: This is a Solitary Bee.
What should you do?
Beekeepers cannot help you with solitary bees. Leave them alone if possible. They are an important pollinator and rarely sting. Solitary bees are under threat of extinction.
Did you know that Britain has more than 260 species of native bee? All of these bees play an essential role in your garden by pollinating flowers. But these bees are becoming scarce, with fewer wild flowers and suitable nest sites and an increase in pesticide use. Now around 25 per cent of our native bees are listed as endangered species.
By solitary we mean that a single female, after she emerges from her pupae and is mated by a male, constructs, provisions and lays an egg in each cell in a nest by herself. This in comparison with social (called eusocial) bees like the Bumble Bees, Honey Bees and Stingless Bees, all of whom have a Queen who lays eggs and a number of workers who look after them.
Female solitary bees prepare their own nest in the ground, in cracks or crevices in walls, or in wood. They gather nectar and pollen as food for their own offspring, and provide little or no further care after their eggs are laid.
Solitary bees come in many different sizes, colours and shapes. Common solitary bees are mason bees, miner bees, sweat bees, wool-carding bees and carpenter bees. They vary in colour from basic black to bright metallic green, blue or red. Some solitary bees superficially resemble wasps and honey bees.
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