Belongs to: solitary bees

Ivy bee Colleteshederae


Best time to see: late Aug to early Nov

Key facts

The latest solitary bee to appear, its flight coinciding with the flowering of ivy, its favourite food source

Widespread on the continent and extending its range northwards, arriving along the south coast in the early 2000s

Form large aggregations where nesting habitat - light, sparsely grassed soil - is available

Recognition

Ginger fuzz on top of thorax and broad buff bands on the addomen

Females 10mm, males 8mm

Lifecycle

Nest holes are dug in light soils in autumn, 15mm or so deep, then eggs are laid in cells, provided with food and sealed

Males emerge first and hang around waiting for females to emerge, forming a mating ball around them

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© gailhampshire