Hoplitis claviventris – Cherry Hinton Chalkpit

Hoplitis claviventris having a rest on my pooter.

Hoplitis claviventris

Distribution
Widely distributed but usually uncommon throughout much of southern England and in south Wales (where it is largely coastal); much more sporadic in the Midlands, East Anglia and northern England. There are no records from Scotland, Ireland or the Channel Islands. Widely distributed throughout much of Europe, from Fennoscandia south to central Iberia, Corsica, Sardinia, and eastwards to Greece and Russia.
Status (in Britain only)
This is classified as a Nationally Notable (Nb) species (Falk, 1991).
Habitat
The species has been recorded from a wide range of habitats, including, for example, open broad-leaved woodland, heathland edge, chalk grassland and the coast.
Flight period
Univoltine; late May to late August (rarely September).
Nesting biology
Many nests of this bee have been found in dead stems, where the females had excavated the pith to form nesting burrows. Such stems included bramble, rose and ragwort. A nest has even been found in a buried bramble stem (Perkins, 1886). Other nest sites have been a buried, decaying root (Perkins, 1923); burrows in an old paling (Arnold, 1903); a burrow in the soil (Saunders, 1896); a small piece of dead pine branch lying on the ground (M Edwards, pers. comm.); and, on the Continent, an empty gall of the chloropid fly Lipara lucens on a reed stem (Blüthgen, 1919). The cells are separated from one another by partitions of leaf mastic, which is green when freshly made but later assumes a brownish-black colour. The inner surface of the nest burrow, rather than a layer of leaf mastic, forms the side walls of the cells. When full grown the larvae spin thin, semi-transparent silken cocoons in which the winter is passed; pupation takes place in the spring.
Flowers visited
Buttercup, red clover, bird’s-foot-trefoil, horseshoe vetch, heaths, field scabious, hawk’s-beard and dandelion.
Parasites
The cleptoparasitic megachiline bee Stelis ornatula has been reared on several occasions from British nests of H. claviventris. The ichneumon wasp Hoplocryptus bellosus has also been reared in this country from stem-nests of the Hoplitis (Danks, 1971, as H. signatorius).

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Osmia spinulosa (male) Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits

Distribution
Found south of a line roughly between the Wash and the Severn, although more common in the south of this region. Overseas: Central and southern Europe.
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being of conservation concern.
Habitat
A widespread, although not always frequently found species. It is found in a range of open neutral or calcareous grassland habitats, provided that there are plenty of Asteraceae flowering and a degree of litter build-up around tussocks.This is where the snails, whose shells provide the nest site, live out their lives. Hay-cut and hard-grazed grasslands are not suitable for this bee.
Flight period
The species is univoltine, but has a long flight period, being found from mid-May to late September.
Nesting biology
Nests are made within medium-sized old snail-shells, such as those of Cepea nemoralis. The cells are made within the spiral from chewed plant material.
Flowers visited
Males and females of this species are most often visit Asteraceae but many males have been found with orchid pollinia attached to the apical terga (S P M Roberts pers. comm.).
Parasites
G R Else reports rearing the generalist chalcid wasp Pteromalus apum from a nest of Osmia spinulosa (pers. comm.). No cleptoparasitic aculeates have been reared from this species in Britain.

Hylaeus dilatatus – Chalk Pits- Cambridge

Status (in Britain only)
The bee is not regarded as scarce or being threatened.
Habitat
The species is often locally common on calcareous grassland, but has been reported from coastal sites, fens and open woodland.
Flight period
Univoltine; early June to late August or early September. As with all British Hylaeus, the females are often long lived (the males having a considerably shorter adult life).
Nesting biology
The species has been reared on several occasions from burrows in dead bramble and rose stems in which the pith has been exposed (pers. obs.). There are additional records from other dead stems such as dock and mugwort (Smith 1876; Peeters, Raemakers, & Smit 1999, respectively). O W Richards (1930) observed the bee nesting in burrows in rotten fence posts.
Flowers visited
Bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.), common fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica), creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), pale toadflax (Linaria repens), sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias), wild carrot (Daucus carota) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium).
Parasites
The gasteruptiid wasp Gasteruption assectator has been reared from nests of H. dilatatus in mainland Europe (Höpper 1904) and may parasitise this species in Britain…BWARS

Osmia spinulosa (Cherry Hinton Chalk pit NR)

Osmia spinulosa

Distribution
Found south of a line roughly between the Wash and the Severn, although more common in the south of this region. Overseas: Central and southern Europe.

Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being of conservation concern.

Habitat
A widespread, although not always frequently found species. It is found in a range of open neutral or calcareous grassland habitats, provided that there are plenty of Asteraceae flowering and a degree of litter build-up around tussocks.This is where the snails, whose shells provide the nest site, live out their lives. Hay-cut and hard-grazed grasslands are not suitable for this bee.

Osmia spinulosa

I have a type of bee that I see in my garden that also nests in old snail shells. after my garden make over I will add old snail shells around the bushes etc to try and increase the nesting bees.

You can clearly see the compound eyes on this bee

Cherry Hinton Chalk pits walk

After my hospital visit for my Hand, I popped in to the old chalk pit near the hospital, a few insects but it was a windy cloudy day .. more info Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits