I’m back again with this weeks installment of ‘What’s in your garden’. Today I would like to show you one of my all time favourites, The Solitary Bee.
There are over 200 different species of Solitary Bee in the Britain, it is usually the first species of Bee to be seen in our gardens, as early as march. When feeding on pollen and nectar the hairy bodies of these cute little bees and hairy hind legs are covered, the pollen is then often carried back to the nest.
FACT – Only females are equipped to carry the pollen.
These little beauties usually make their nests in the ground. The female will dig the nest and stock up her pollen and nectar before sealing it back up leaving the young with a nice starter a meal.
These Bees are excellent pollinators and having them in your garden will do wonders for your Flora.
Now, why are they called Solitary Bees? Well the Answer lies within the name. They are Solitary. They are not social Bees like our Honeybee or Bumblebee, although you may find lots of nests together when a piece of prime real estate is on the market. Nest sites are likely to be in the lawn or where there is bare soil. The nest tunnel is vertical and is usually topped by a mound of fine soil with a hole in the top to get in and out. These Bees can vary in size from 3mm up-to 15mm.
These Bees do have a sting but very rarely use it. They are quite harmless and not aggressive at all.
To attract these little cute fluffy Bees to your garden is quite simple. Lots and lots of flowers will help, but you could also construct or buy a bug hotel. These normally come with chambers made from bamboo for the Bees to make a nest. You could also leave any dandelions that pop up in your garden for as long as possible to help give these Bees a kick start in the early spring.
So here it is, a beautiful portrait of a Solitary Bee in my back garden on a Dandelion.
As normal any question please ask.