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?
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.
In the older literature this species is sometimes cited under the name Nomada baeri Stöckhert, 1930; a name now treated as a junior synonym of castellana.
A small species with a body length of 5–7 mm. In the field it most resembles Nomada conjungens Herrich-Schäffer and Nomada flavoguttata (Kirby) in both size and coloration and could easily be passed over as being those species. The main distinguishing characters (colour and form of the labrum in the female, and shape of the intermediate flagellar segments in the male) are best viewed under a binocular microscope. The species is included in a recent key to the bees of Switzerland (Amiet et al., 2007).
The only record is a male collected in Jersey, Channel Islands, by A C Warne (St Mary, Malaise trap, 26th June 1991 (BMNH)).
This is a little known species that is apparently widely distributed in western Europe but is sporadic and generally rare. There are, for example, records from Spain, Switzerland and Austria.
Status (in Britain only):
The Channel Islands, for a number of reasons, are excluded from the geographical coverage of the British Red Data book (Shirt, 1987). Its status on the islands is not known.
Univoltine; late April to mid July.
A cleptoparasitic species, it does not collect its own pollen.
In mainland Europe this species is a cleptoparasite of certain species of Andrena in the subgenus Micrandrena, possibly including Andrena anthrisci Blüthgen (a species not found in the British Isles) and Andrena alfkenella Perkins (Stöckhert, 1954; Amiet et al., 2007). The host species in Jersey is not known.