Okay, so this solitary bee completely fooled us…. we saw bits of leaf debris in nesting tubes and the bee’s striking ‘rear end’ and thought we had leafcutter bees nesting. This appears to be a common mistake with orange vented mason bees. However they do like a leaf!
Rather than delicately cutting discs from leaves and then using a patchwork of cut leaves to create a cell for their eggs, these bees mash up leaves into a pulp before moulding them into the walls of the cell where they lay their eggs. They then cap the nesting tube with another wall of this pesto like substance.
When could you see one?
They’re out and about from early May until late August
Where could you see one in the UK?
This is a south of England bee, so keep half an eye on your bee hotels… though they move quickly and so you might have to loiter by your bee hotel to catch a glimpse.
Find our more about the orange vented mason bee at this bee’s BWARS page HERE