Archive for Aug 27th, 2015

27
Aug
15

A sandy bank, a wasp and lots of bees

A sandy bank in the dunes can turn up all sorts of wonderful bits of wildlife; but you have to watch carefully.

As if the honey bees don’t have enough of the odds stacked against them at the moment there’s a Honey Bee predator around … a wolf … a bee wolf.

The female European Beewolf Wasp predates on an unsuspecting bee as it gathers pollen. It immobilises it with an injection of paralyzing venom and then carries it back to her lair; a one metre tunnel into sandy soil. Flying back with a payload as big as you own body tucked up within your undercarriage can’t be easy but this predator does it repeatedly. She even has special plates on the underside of her abdomen to protect her from the sting of any protesting bees. She then tucks it away in her lair, not for her to eat, for this wasp is a pollen eater, but for her young grub to feed upon when they hatch out.

Once a great rarity in the UK they still have a Red Data Book Status of vulnerable but have now started to spread from their Suffolk and Dorset strongholds and apparently have reached as far north as Yorkshire.

Beewolf Wasp 1 Beewolf Wasp 2




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