Beewolf

Posted: August 30, 2014 in Insects, Natural History
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The Beewolf is a solitary, predatory wasp which is sometimes known as the Bee-Hunter.

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The species found in the UK targets Honey Bees, the females dig tunnels in the sand, whilst the males hunt Bees.

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The male sting is capable of paralysing a Honey Bee which it then carries back to the female. It has armoured sections on its body which prevent the Bee stinging the wasp.

Male returns with a bee which the female took into the tunnel she had just excavated

Male returns with a bee which the female took into the tunnel she had just excavated

The paralysed bees are then taken down into the tunnels and stored till needed. The female will build a brood chamber at the end of the tunnels which she will stock with Bees and then lay her eggs. Up to 6 bees have been found in a single brood chamber. When the eggs hatch out the bees provided a readily available source of food

European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum) coming out of its nest, Sandy, Bedfordshire
photo by Orangeaurochs (https://www.flickr.com/photos/orangeaurochs/)

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