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Talkback: The greater bulb fly

I was shocked the wonderful Japanese roof garden did not get Gold this year as it was so fabulously innovative and interesting and perfect its creator was able to explain it all to us


  • had bumble bees nesting under a sheet of plywood for about five years. we had to throw it away at last it was sooo tatty, and thought wed upset them. they now nest under the shed. whoopee
  • I've seen a buzzy thing that looks like this trying to bury under the soil in my garden in the last couple of months. I'm not sure if it's the same as this though. Do they make nests underground?
  • Reply to raggybaggy
    Although they lay their eggs on the exposed bulbs at soil level, the bulb fly is not equipped for digging. You are more likely to have found a solitary bee. This large group has several hundred UK species and they vary in size from small bumble down to large ant. Most look like small honeybees. Each female makes a single burrow in the soil, divides it into separate individual cells for her eggs and provisions each with a nectar/pollen cake.
  • Had some bees nesting low down near the ground seemingly behind a pot/small rhododendrun. Small, rust coloured bees. After a few days, wasps started going in and out of the same place and now no sign of any bees, just wasps. Do wasps invade/destroy/takeover bees nests?
  • Reply to Debbieb
    Wasps will invade bee nests, including honeybee hives after brood prey and honey/pollen stores. The bees will defend themselves. I wonder if you have not rather seen something else. Your rust-coloured bees sound like mining bees, Andrena fulva or Osmia rufa. These 'solitary' bees make individual small tunnel nests in the soil, which they stock with nectar and pollen for their grubs. Although they work individually, each female making her own nest burrow, they often colonize an area of bare soil together to make 'bee villages'. The males of both species are much smaller and slimmer than the large, stout, furry females. Could you have been seeing first females, then males?
  • hi there,im wondering are theses bees [as such],the ones that have nested in a birdhouse on the side of my house they are very active they look like baby bees very sweet looking but sadly i get a allergic reactions to there stings...errrr.
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