22nd May 2015

Solitary Bees- if I hadn’t been sitting in the garden, listening to the Test Match on the radio, I wouldn’t’ve noticed this beautiful, tiny solitary bee, which has found a nesting place in a tiny crack in the wood of a cold-frame! Unable to identify it, I uploaded the photo not the wonderful, free i-spot website and someone thinks it may be the Red Mason Bee, Osmia Rufa, though several solitary bees are similar so it might not be! The Red Mason Bee is common, nests in hollow plant stems, holes in bricks or wood, and, after mating, builds individual cells with mud and pollen, laying a single egg in each. The eggs pupate in autumn and the larvae hibernates, the adult emerging in spring to feed on pollen and nectar. Conditions: Mostly cloudy, dry day. Temperature: Max 16- Min 10c.

This tiny solitary bee sits for long periods inside the tiny cavity, guarding its nest

This tiny solitary bee sits for long periods inside the tiny cavity, guarding its nest

Solitary Bee in the garden

Solitary Bee in the garden

The Bee is only about 1 cm in length, as can be seen from this small screw-head

The Bee is only about 1 cm in length, as can be seen from this small screw-head

I couldn't believe it was nesting in this tiny cavity in the wooden frame of the cold-frame

I couldn’t believe it was nesting in this tiny cavity, only about 6mm high and 3 wide,  in the wooden frame of the cold-frame 

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