I am amazed to discover there are over 270 bee species in Britain and Ireland and that bumblebees and honey bees only account for about one tenth of that figure. The wool carder and the leafcutter bees belong to the Megachile (leaf-cutting bee) group.
Both the wool-carder and the leafcutter are solitary bees. They nest in walls, as well as in dead wood and bee hotels provided by us. Wool carder bees also nest in hollow stems whereas leafcutters will occasionally use soil, twigs and the hollow stems of brambles. They are impressive engineers, magical to watch and this year my dream of seeing a wool carder bee came true. Read more
It is unfortunate that wasps and hornets have a reputation of being insects to be feared. They are Nature’s beneficial natural pesticides, so should be welcome in our gardens. Having photographed and filmed them many times, I now love to meet these characterful insects. Read more
The new orchard meadow has been a constant source of delight, awe and wonder from my very own kitchen window this spring and summer. With growing joy, I watched the plants beginning to flower that set seed last year. Their pollen and nectar attracted many solitary bees and bumblebees, including the fascinating Wool-carder Bee for the first time. Read more
As spring warms, the air dances with insects in the new mini orchard meadow and its young apple trees which will soon begin to burst with ‘perfumed wildflowers and herbs and grasses’ (Meadowland – The Private Life of an English Field by John Lewis-Stempel) and apple blossom. Read more