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something's taken up residence in the last week or so.

 
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stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:10 pm    Post subject: something's taken up residence in the last week or so. Reply with quote

Can someone confirm the identity of these. They have set up home in the last week in my brickwork. either that or they set up home last summer and I didn't notice and am only noticing now they are active.







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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve. I can't confirm it, but Mason bees maybe? Sounds like the sort of thing they get up to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason_bee
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stevecook172001
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Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broadwell wrote:
Hi Steve. I can't confirm it, but Mason bees maybe? Sounds like the sort of thing they get up to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason_bee
hi Broadwell, thanks for the reply. If I have read the wiki correctly, mason bees are solitary. If that's true then these can't be mason bees as there were quite a few of them hanging about the entrance and coming in and out of it. I would say there were about a dozen always flying around or near the entrance
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stevecook172001
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Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmmm...

Just been reading up some more on mason bees and found this:

Quote:
Although they are solitary they do excavate their chambers close together and thus give the impression of being a colony and occupying the same habitat.


So, maybe they could be mason bees....
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can tweet Bridget Strawbridge ( @B_Strawbridge ) with a picture and she might be able to id it. I had a number of definitely solitary bees in a wall near me and she gave me an id ( they were not Mason bees ). Not sure if she's somewhere on this forum ...
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Identification down to species level involves microscopy. They look very similar to some bees I saw in an old sandstone quarry in Brittany. While they are solitary bees, each queen with her own nest, there were thousands of them which led to me initially thinking they were apis melifera.

I would guess they are probably one of the Adrena species but to be sure about that would need to look at wings under a microscope with the key beside me.
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stevecook172001
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Joined: 19 Jul 2013
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Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks CatcherCradle. You may be right. Unless these really are honey bees, I think we have a winner:

http://www.gardensafari.net/english/mining_bees.htm

Either that or, as mentioned before, mason bees.

As long as they're not honey bees, I'm happy to let em carry on.
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semiautonomous
Nurse Bee


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 44
Location: England, Shropshire, Shrewsbury

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are very likely solitary bees, they look just like the red mason bees just starting to hatch out of my solitary bee blocks. The reason you are seeing lots of them is there will be a tube of cocoons in that hole of mostly females. The bees you see buzzing around are most likely males hanging around waiting for the females to come out and mate. The males always hatch a few days earlier than the females so they are ready to jump them when they emerge. There mite also be other females checking out the hole for a potential nesting site if there isn't much choice around.
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