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- Guide to Bees and Honey.
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Established seller since Seller Inventory GB Seller Inventory mon Seller Inventory Not Signed; This is the ideal guide for anyone wanting to start beekeeping and a revered reference book for experienced beekeepers. Dimension: x x A number of species also nest aerially, usually in old beetle holes often sealing the nests with a saliva like substance, mud, chewed leaves, resin or sections of leaves which they cut with their jaws. These species are the ones most likely to take to artificial nests in gardens.
There is also one species of solitary bee in Britain, Ceratina cyanea, that excavates its own aerial nest, usually in bramble stems.
This small metallic blue bee excavates out the pith of the bramble stem and nests in there. Unusually both the males and females also overwinter, hibernating in the stems.
Finally there are the snail shell nesting bees, of which we have three species in Britain. They use chewed up leaves to seal off the each section in the empty nest shells and often camouflage the shell in some way. Most solitary bees collect pollen on their legs on specialised hairs called the scopa, however these hairs do not form a basket like we find in honey bees. Pollen may be moistened with nectar to allow it to stick more readily to these hairs when pollen is being actively collected by the female bee.
Some other species, such as leafcutter and mason bee species, collect pollen on specialised hairs on the underneath of their abdomen. Finally some yellow faced bees don't have pollen collecting apparatus at all so swallow the pollen, regurgitating it when back at the nest. Most solitary bees are polylectic, meaning that they collect pollen from a wide variety of plant species.
However there are still a lot of bees that specialise in collecting pollen from one genus or species or from only a few genera or species , this is known as oligolecty. Many solitary bee species specialise on a family of plants with the most common pollen specialism being for those plants in the daisy and pea families. This has implications for crops which fall into these families as solitary bees, which carry out the majority of pollination in Britain, are highly effective pollinators.
Generalist solitary bees also carry out a vast amount of pollination, especially in gardens and on farms where there are a number of crops flowering all at once.
Not all bees collect pollen, around a quarter of British solitary bees are brood parasites or cuckoo bees. These bees have no pollen collecting apparatus, relying on the pollen of their hosts to provide for their offspring.
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These cuckoo bees search out the nests of their hosts and lay an egg in their nests. Either the young or the adult kills the hosts offspring and the larvae then eat the pollen in the nest. The larvae can directly kill the host larva or indirectly by eating the pollen, therefore starving the host larva to death. These cuckoo bees are often much rarer than their hosts and are highly adapted for their parasitic lifestyle. They are often brightly coloured, resembling wasps.
This is because they often hang around the nests of their hosts and have this warning colouration to protect themselves from predators. These cuckoos are highly specialised and co-evolved with their hosts to require the same amount of pollen, and in some cases pollen from the same species of plant, to develop and fly at the same time.
In Britain there are around 65 species of bee in the genus Andrena, making it the largest bee genus in Britain. These bees are quite variable in size ranging from mm long but all nest in the soil. These bees have short pointed tongues and are characterised by the grooves facial fovea running down the inside of their eyes which is more or less unique in Britain to this genus.
Guide To Bees & Honey: The World's Best Selling Guide To Beekeeping
How to catch, identify, and manage bees guide and resources. Synopsis of the Genera of Northwestern America Morphology and biology of bees. Menu Oregon. Agency Main Content. Apiary registration application and payment Apiary registration application. Xerces Society for invertebrate conservation Xerces Society website.