Another first and another highlight for the year. Common name pantaloon bee because of its over sized hind legs/scopa
Status (in Britain only)
A Nationally Notable (Nb) species.
Sandy soils, particularly on heathlands and coastal dunes.
Univoltine; late June to the end of August or the beginning of September.
Females mainly excavate their nests in sandy, sparsely vegetated, level soil. Some sites contain nest aggregations of great extent. The main burrow is very long (8-60 cm) and is excavated at an oblique angle, resulting in a ‘fan’ of spoil to one side of the entrance. Cells are built at the ends of laterals which arise from the distal portion of the main burrow. In Denmark (and possibly in Britain), nest excavation usually takes place in the afternoon, females rarely leaving their burrows after mid-day or early afternoon (Lind, 1968). During excavation the hind tibial scopa is used as a brush to clear soil from the burrow entrance (Saunders, 1908; G R Else, pers. obs.). Nests are described by Müller (1884), Malyshev (1927) and Lind (1968). The early stages have been described by Müller (1884) and Rozen & McGinley (1974).
This bee is especially associated with yellow Asteraceae flowers. A record of a visit to an onion (Allium sp.) probably refers to a nectar source. Flower visits are more oft en observed in the morning as most of the blooms that both sexes visit tend to close from late morning onwards.
Sarcophagid flies in the genus Miltogramma seem to be important parasitoids in the nests of this bee… BWARS