Wild flowers and solitary bees, a fascinating combination

Wild flowers and solitary bees: a perfect combination. In the Netherlands, about 30% of all plants are on the Red List. It is about time we start protecting these plants a bit better and introduce them into our gardens. As they have evolved with our climate, they cope well with our unpredictable climate. Moreover, insects have evolved with them for so long and some have become totally dependent on a certain plant for their survival. Great plants for solitary bees are greater knapweed, chicory, knapweed, viper’s bugloss, marjoram, cornflower, bird’s-foot trefoil, wild carrot, wild mignonette, campanula species, wall germander, corn marigold, betony, motherwort and if you have room, you can grow white bryony but aware the berries are poisonous. Please see below a summary of the various bees i spotted in my garden.

Hylaeus bee – probably Hylaeus signatus as it was only feeding on reseda. This is a male as it has a large patch of white on the face.

Chelostoma rapunculi – female she collects pollen on her abdominal hairs which you can see on the second photo.

Anthidium manicatum, the striking yellow and black bee, this is a female:

Andrena denticulata   

Heriades Truncorum a very small bee and a Surrey speciality 

Dasypoda hirtipes male

The lovely Andrena synadelpha she collects pollen on her hind legs and the white pollen seen is from the campanula.

About mybiodiversitygarden

Trying to raise awareness & share information about ecology and biodiversity and what gardeners can do to attract more wildlife
This entry was posted in Bees, Biodiversity, conservation, Nature, pollination and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Wild flowers and solitary bees, a fascinating combination

  1. alderandash says:

    Wow wonderful photos and info, thank you – I had no idea there were so many types of bee! I shall have to start looking more closely…

  2. plantameadow says:

    The Hylaeus bee in the first photo is extraordinary. I would never have thought it was a bee. What an interesting blog, I’m about to start researching bee keeping for a future blog.Thanks for the info and superb photos.

  3. solarbeez says:

    You certainly know your bees. I agree, that Hylaeus bee is special. I’ve never seen anything like it. I wonder if it’s unique to your area. Some of those bees look like wasps to me. I guess I have a lot to learn. Could you identify a bee for me? I’m calling this a Bombus Melanopygus, but that’s only from looking at a bee guide. http://solarbeez.com/2012/06/27/bumble-bee-heaven/
    It’s the orange one flying in the “A lucky shot” photo.
    Oregon Coast

    • Dear Pat,
      I am only a beginner and starting to learn the different bees :-). Some are very hard to ID so in some cases one need a microscope. Hylaeus are very tiny they do look like small wasps or flies but the species can be identified as they have a masked face (in Dutch we call them Mask bees).
      As far as your bumblebee is concerned, it could well be this species. We do not have this one in my area. You may have a look at
      http://bugguide.net/node/view/3077. Best of luck and enjoy! Marco

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