The UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) continues in 2018
The UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) has been set up to gather additional evidence to inform research and conservation of the insects that provide such an important service. BWARS is supporting PoMS, which is a partnership of a wide range of conservation and research organisations.
Bombus lapidarius Photo: CEH/Martin Harvey
PoMS is part of the UK Pollinator Monitoring and Research Partnership, co-ordinated by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). It is jointly funded by Defra, the Welsh and Scottish Governments, JNCC and project partners, including CEH, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, British Trust for Ornithology, Hymettus, the University of Reading and University of Leeds. PoMS aims to provide much-needed data on the state of the UK’s insect pollinators, especially wild bees and hoverflies, and the role they fulfil in supporting farming and wildlife. Defra project BE0125/ NEC06214: Establishing a UK Pollinator Monitoring and Research Partnership.
I am masters student who is carrying out a study on how effective Bee Banks and Artifical Bee Boxes are for the conservation of solitary bees in Sandwell Valley. So far I have put up 7 Bee boxes around an RSPB site , all of which have been colonised by leaf cutters. I have seen Megachile Willughbiella , Megachile Versicolor and possibly Megachile Centucularis provisioning leaf cuttings into different holes. Overall , I have seen atleast 54 holes with clear evidence of occupation across all 7 boxes, does anyone know how many eggs/ grubs one leaf cutter provisions in one hole?
Bombus lucorum sensu lato is a species complex of B. lucorum, B. cryptarum and B. magnus. These three species cannot be reliably distinguished from each other.
Found throughout the region, including the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands. It is widespread in Europe, middle and northern latitudes of Asia, eastwards to northern Mongolia (Løken 1973).
Status (in Britain only):
These bees are not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Found in a wide variety of habitats, including montane areas.
Univoltine: queens can be seen nest-searching from March onward and males can be found between July and October.
Polylectic.This species has a very broad diet and is notable for regularly visiting aphid honeydew on trees.
Nests are underground in old mouse or vole nests.The nest is large, with over 200 individuals in many instances, but it is possible that the different species will prove to have differently-sized nests.
Visits are made to a wide variety of flowers, both for pollen and nectar.
Anyone wishing to see the results of me looking for Bees and Wasps on the Gower between 2012 and 2016 can find the maps here, these are only my submitted but not yet substantiated records based mainly on specimens:
A friend sent me some pictures after checking her bee hotel of a ball of Osmia bicornis that appeared to be resting together and waiting out the cold weather. It was a sunny day so my friend removed the tray and put it in the sun and pretty soon the bees warmed up and flew off. However she noticed that as soon as she put the bee box back together the bees returned to the same spot and resumed their ball like behaviour.
Is this commonly recorded in O bicornis when the weather isnt 100% favourable?
In April 2017 Rob Mills photographed a distinctive insect in his garden. This turned out to be the bee-fly Anthrax anthrax, a species never confirmed from Britain before. The bee-fly was sitting on a bee hotel in his garden near Cambridge, on a log drilled with holes containing solitary bee brood cells.