Hoplitis claviventris - adding wood dust to her nest plug in bee hotel

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Vivianrussell
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Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: 17/02/2014 - 09:54
Hoplitis claviventris - adding wood dust to her nest plug in bee hotel

I put bee hotels up in my garden for the first time in spring 2014 & had an enthusiastic response from a number of small bees Ian Beavis kindly identified as Hoplitis claviventris. I was photographing one of the females as she was sealing her nest, and followed her as darted in and out of adjacent empty tubes collecting what I think was wood dust and placing it in the middle of her masticated leaf seal.

I've laid out the sequence in two rows, left to right. Once she had her white daub in the middle, she didn't add any more. I can't work out why she did this, and it echoes what Ed Phillips observed with his Pemphredon? wasp, posted earlier on this forum. Perhaps it was just a finishing touch!

(North Cumbrian coast)

Ed Phillips
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Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 13/05/2012 - 08:41
Bee Hotels

Ah, the fascination of garden bee hotels. The hours I've spent (frittered away!) observing hymenopteran behaviour at mine doesn't bear thinking about! Can't wait for the new "season" to start. We moved from Warwickshire to Staffordshire (and to a much larger garden) during the winter, so it will be interesting to see what species are attracted at the new location.

Nigel Jones
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Joined: 11/11/2011 - 20:07
What will be interesting is

What will be interesting is to see if you witness a repeat performance of the use of this supplementary nest sealant material this season. Would you be willing to submit the best of your images for the species account page? It would be good to include some of the images along with a note of this observation.

Vivianrussell
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Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: 17/02/2014 - 09:54
Hoplitis nests

Yes of course.

Vivianrussell
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Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: 17/02/2014 - 09:54
Hoplitis nests

Yes of course.

Vivianrussell
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Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: 17/02/2014 - 09:54
Repeat performance in 2014

Here are photos of a bee hotel I made myself using thistle and teasel stems which I placed just beneath bee hotel featured on previous pics as I thought smaller holes might suit Hoplitis better - and then marked their nests with black pen when I saw nesting activity. As you can see, they did exactly the same with their new nests.

The first photo I took of this bee was on 16 May, and it was still with me in mid August.

The 2nd & 4th photos in this series are closeups of the 1st, and the 3rd only to show there was more than one female.

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