Tuesday, 16 July 2013


You can stop worrying about the bees .... they're all at my house!!

A few weeks ago a family of tree bees (Bombus hypnorum) moved into a disused bird box right outside our front door.  I hadn't realised how rare they were until today!  Apparently they only appeared in Britain in 2001 and have been moving up the country ever since.  They are incredibly active: a group of males are constantly flying around outside the nest waiting for the queen to "come up and see them"! You can hear them buzzing late into the night. I've just spent a few minutes submitting a record to BWARS (Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society).

Then a couple of days ago I went into the spare bedroom and heard a strange chewing sound coming from the loft.  Through the window I spotted a couple of small bees going under the house guttering: further inspection revealed a hole between two bricks.  No idea what kind they are. Dread to think how many there are up there living rent free ... and what ARE they chewing?!

Today I spotted holes in the leaves of one of my new shrubs.  Leaf-cutter bees!  These are solitary bees.  They carry the bits of leaf away to line cells in which they lay eggs.  This one is my own fault as I placed one of those insect boxes near the pond and sure enough someone has moved in!  The books tell me not to panic as they don't do any harm ... the shrub wouldn't agree!  "Just look at my leaves!!"

Anyway, on the whole I am rather chuffed at all these pollinators.  I'm obviously doing something right!


  1. They surely like you, when they all are in your garden :) Sorry about your shrub, and I wish you do not have harm anymore from bees.

  2. You surely must have a lovely bee garden. Anyway we have te leafcutter bee too, the same kind of holes in my rose leaves. Hope they disappear to another garden, haha.

  3. I love the sound of bees in the garden. Certainly plenty this last couple of weeks. I do enjoy trying to id them all.
    I hope the bees in the loft don't do too much damage Patricia!

  4. We have lots of bees in our garden too, including a bumble bee nest under ground. How lovely to have the tree bees move in.. I'm hoping we'll have some move into one of my bird boxes too but no luck yet.
    Julie :o)

  5. Wow - maybe you need to rename your blog " Bee Boudoir"?