It is Solitary Bee Week 2022, so we want to encourage as many people as possible to get involved and help out the bees.
What are solitary bees? There are over 240 species of solitary bee in the UK alone, which makes up 90% of our bee species. Despite their name, solitary bees can be very social and often nest nearby one another.
How can you help?
Create your own wild garden within your garden! Solitary bees much prefer long grass rather than our finely trimmed gardens, also wildflowers and nectar rich dandelions are a WIN WIN for solitary bees. Allow a metre square patch of your garden to grow wild, sprinkling it with seeds.
Different types of solitary bees:
Leaf-cutter bees are just one type of solitary bee. They have no social caste and therefore fend for themselves and their offspring. Leaf-cutter bees belong to the Megachilidae family, and are a fantastic pollinating group for a variety of fruit, veg and other plants including wildflowers so you may see some hanging out in your wild flower garden you've created!
“I’m coming out!!” This is a male leaf-cutter bee emerging from its cocoon. The females cut circles out of leaves and carry them back to the nest to make the individual cells. The female will fill the cells with pollen and lay an egg before closing off the cell with more leaves. The egg hatches into a larva that eats the pollen and then spins a cocoon inside the leafy cell. The eggs that this bee came from was laid about a year ago!
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