Bee Hotels don’t just attract bees

Back to the bee hotel!

One of the most interesting things I found at the buzzing bee hotel was that it didn’t only attract bees.  Indeed, such a hotspot for bees was also…a hotspot for things that like bees.

You can imagine that there must be both positive and negative effects for the bees.  This is a great place to nest, but it is also a great place for predators to find you.  What if, overall, the bee hotel is a population sink (a place that has a negative impact on the size of the bee population)?  We don’t really know, because we have no way of measuring bee population dynamics.

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Leucospis affinis (Chalcidoidea), a bee parasite. She taps on the top of the nest until she finds the hollow brood cell.

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Her (scary looking) ovipositor is used to drill into the brood cell.

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She will lay an egg on top of the bee’s egg. When her larvae hatches, it will devour the young bee.

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The Leucopsis wasps prefer mason bee (Osmia) prey.

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A cute little crabronid with mothy prey

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Isodontia mexicana, a grass carrying wasp, also likes the look of this bee hotel.

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She doesn’t usually prey on bees, so she is probably just looking for a place to nest. She’s thinking, “Hm, that grass looks good!”

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“Maybe this is a suitable hole!”

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Coelioxys female, another example of a brood parasite.

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“Geez, no cameras please!”

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This genus prefers the Megachile species.

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She is a cleptoparasite!

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18 thoughts on “Bee Hotels don’t just attract bees

  1. It seems like a smorgasbord for the wasps at a bee hotel. It seems you are right that this has to have an impact on bees hatched. I guess that is nature, but we really lend a hand sometimes, all with good intent too. Your macro photos are wonderful and will help me when I find wasps I have no clue what they are.

    • Thank you! The wasps are uncommon anywhere except for here! All bee specialists. Who knows what impact we really have with our efforts. Something to keep in mind. If nothing else, it does a good job for outreach purposes.

  2. Pingback: Squash bee cleptoparasite | standingoutinmyfield

  3. Pingback: Cute Clepto, Nomada | standingoutinmyfield

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