Species: Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae)

Family: Plasterer bees (COLLETIDAE)

Category: Insects (Other)

Location: Widespread

A. Insects (Other)

More extensive information on insects can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Plasterer bees (COLLETIDAE)

Plasterer bees (Colletidae) are bees that use secretions from their mouthparts to smooth the walls of their nest cells. They are also known collectively as Polyester, Cellophane or Masked bees and number in the region of 2,500 different species worldwide. They collect pollen and feed on nectar. The majority of this family's species live in South America and Australia.

C. Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae)

The Ivy Bee is a mining bee, meaning that it is ground-nesting. They tend to be solitary, building underground nests that are lined with a secretion that resembles cellophane.

The thorax of this bee is covered with dense orange-brown hair, and the abdominal bands are an unmistakeable buff colour, paler than most other bees. Females are slightly larger than males.

The Ivy Bee is the last solitary bee to emerge each year and is Britain's only true autumn bee. Males appear in late August, and females a few weeks later, in mid-September. They are most abundant when Common Ivy blossoms in October in the south of England, but are new arrivals in Britain, first recorded in Dorset in 2001.

Images

Ivy Bee

The Ivy Bee is a mining bee, meaning that it is ground-nesting. They tend to be solitary, building underground nests that are lined with a secretion that resembles cellophane.

Ivy Bee

The Ivy Bee is the last solitary bee to emerge each year and is Britain's only true autumn bee. Males appear in late August, and females a few weeks later, in mid-September. They are most abundant when Common Ivy blossoms in October in the south of England.

(Photo credit: Stuart MA Ball.)