BWARS forum - first, please read this

This forum is a place to discuss matters related to BWARS and general matters related to aculeates.


It is not intended as a forum for identification queries. We may add this feature in due course, but meanwhile, if you need help identifying bees, wasps and ants, please use either iSpot or the BWARS forum on Yahoo.


Is this an aculeate?

A curious insect has been posted on iSpot which you might like to look at:

It appears to have a wasp waist and looks too robust for an ichneumonoid. However it has very long antennae and an abdomen very dark dorsally and pale ventrally, which looks like nothing I can find in your records or random Googling for a possible vagrant. Oh, and it's from Orkney, which doesn't strike me as the most species-diverse area (or a likely place for a vagrant). Baffled.

Oxybelus Wasp with non-dipteran prey

I noticed a small aggregation of nest holes in a local sandy path in Staffordshire today. The holes were visited by small black wasps and I managed a rather poor photograph of one returning to the area with prey impaled on its sting. I'm pretty sure this is an Oxybelus sp. because of the impaling behaviour - the cream-coloured abdominal markings are just discernible too.

I have read that Oxybelus prey on diptera. I'm not sure what this prey item was; but not a dipteran. Is this unusual?

Sapyga quinquepunctata and forgetmenots, Osmia and hollyhocks

I watched a female Sapyga quinquepunctata enter holes where I had recently observed much activity of males and females of Osmia caerulescens, and Osmia laeiana. I had read that this wasp only visits thyme, but when it left the hole, it ignored the nearby thyme and refuelled on the abundant forgetmenots. Meanwhile, the females of both Osmia species have begun their annual pulp making work on the hollyhock leaves. What looks like slug damage is due to bees - see photos. I haven't seen these bees visit any other plant for pulp.

Ruderal bee?

Hello I know this is not the correct page but I cannot find the appropriate one
a few days ago I took a picture of a strange bee I never saw before so
I sent a picture of it to the natural history site and they redirected me here
saying that you would be able to id it I've only seen it once
the photo was taken in Leicester Saffron lane Estate in my front garden
thank you for your time

South West Bees Survey Report for 2014 published by Buglife

Buglife have produced a report detailing the results of a survey for seven bee species in south west England.

The report presents the findings of the project’s first ground-truthing surveys from May to August 2014. The objectives of these surveys were:

  • To confirm the presence of target species on sites with historic records -
  • To evaluate habitat suitability on surveyed sites -
  • To add to information on the autecology of target species


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South West Bees Project - 2014 Survey Report

Buglife's report on the work of the south west bees project in 2014. Author Rory Dimond.

Wild bees of Scotland Guide published

BWARS members Mike Edwards and Jeremy Early have collaborated with Scottish Natural Heritage to produce a guide to some of the common and more readily identified bees of Scotland. The guide can be downloaded here

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Weighing Bees


I am a student at the Open University doing a degree in Environmental Science. I am about to undertake a project/investigation into pollinating insects. As part of the investigation I will be recording the weights of Bumblebees which (as far as I can gather) range between 0.05g and 0.90g.

Does anyone have experience of recording the weights of insects and if so can anyone recommend a budget set of scales that give sufficient precision/accuracy for this purpose?

Bombus monticola records - lancs

Three Bombus monticola females spotted at White Coppice, Lancashire (south of Brinscall) on sallows 11.30 - 13.00, 10/04/15 - two large, lively and obvious queens, one female more worker sized and fairly inactive.

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