Please register if you want to contribute!

Author Topic: Strange insect  (Read 2752 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline dolcevita

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 574
    • myabruzzohome
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2016, 10:17:41 AM »
I'm sure these are Honey Bees as my Dad kept them.It may be as you say they will die off or even get eaten as we have pine martens on the roof regularly!I think we'll assess the situation ourselves before getting a builder in.If there are bees going in and out in September then we'll assume as you say there will be bees and honey in the chimney over winter.

Do Geckos or Lizards take the grubs of bees or hornets? I know it sounds silly but I watched a hornet start a little nest inside a shutter where our geckos hunt/hide and the gecko seemed to be very interested then the hornet just abandoned it?
a third rate mind follows the crowd


Offline Allan Mason

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2016, 12:41:32 PM »
I think it would have to be a very desperate pine marten that tackled a honey bee colony. As far as I know, martens are carnivorous, so the only thing I can imagine being of interest to them would be the larvae and perhaps adult bees. Adult bees are problematic for obvious reasons. Larvae are raised on combs in the centre of the colony and honey bees are always on combs that have larvae, so it would not be an easy meal.

Even bears have problems when they predate honey bee colonies, but they clearly think the gain outweighs the pain. Since martens are much smaller than bears, a full-on defense by a honey bee colony might result in the marten's death. Skunks - which are roughly the same size as a marten - can be a problem for beekeepers in North America, but what they do is claw at the hive entrance and then lap up the individual bees as they emerge to see what's going on. This usually doesn't have a big impact on the hive population, but it does put the hive in a constant state of alert and this makes life difficult for the beekeeper.

The only smallish animal I'm aware of that does actively seek out honey bee nests and attack them the African honey badger which is a member of the marten family, but they're incredibly tough animals that have such thick skin that bee stings don't penetrate.

The bottom line is that I suspect it's unlikely martens will solve your problem for you.  :)

I'm sure geckos and lizards will eat lone bees, wasps and hornets if the opportunity presents itself, but I have no idea if they will actually attack active nests. Perhaps the instinct of the hornet was to seek another nesting place just because there was something that might be a predator lurking where she started to build.

Al

Offline Orbito

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2016, 02:06:25 PM »
I have noticed a few very small (as in, more than half the size of) bees/wasps which have burrowed a little hole in the sand on mt patio - there's a broken slab and they hover above this hole and then dive in. Never seen anything like it - any clues?

Offline dolcevita

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 574
    • myabruzzohome
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2016, 02:26:50 PM »
Solitary Bee? I have seen a type of bee that hoovers over soil and seems to lay an egg or maybe thats not what its doing!

BTW love your blog and Brexit 'rant' ;D ;D
a third rate mind follows the crowd

thediggers

  • Guest
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2016, 03:19:19 PM »
Yep, look up burrowing bee or sand wasp...

Offline Orbito

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2016, 04:45:26 PM »
Oh yes thanks, that's them - I do like the fact that the Wiki description says they're non aggressive - I'm more than happy to share my patio with them on that basis :)

Glad you like the blog Dolce - as you can probably tell, I was so angry I had steam coming out my ears at the time...

Offline Allan Mason

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2016, 07:58:50 PM »
The solitary bees I found most disconcerting in Italy were violet carpenter bees. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylocopa_violacea

They're big (about 25mm long), very buzzy and the males stake out a patch and defend it. That includes checking out any humans that wander on to "their" territory.

They're harmless, but it's startling to have one of these suddenly launch itself at you and do a couple of noisy orbits before deciding you're neither a rival nor a female carpenter bee.

Interestingly, a small population seems to have established near Leicester in recent years.

Al

thediggers

  • Guest
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2016, 09:00:36 PM »
The solitary bees I found most disconcerting in Italy were violet carpenter bees. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylocopa_violacea

They're big (about 25mm long), very buzzy and the males stake out a patch and defend it. That includes checking out any humans that wander on to "their" territory.

They're harmless, but it's startling to have one of these suddenly launch itself at you and do a couple of noisy orbits before deciding you're neither a rival nor a female carpenter bee.

Interestingly, a small population seems to have established near Leicester in recent years.

Al

Wonderful creatures to watch trying to land on a lobelia flower, but not so nice when they bore a 1-2cm hole in your wood pile !

Offline dolcevita

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 574
    • myabruzzohome
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2016, 05:49:05 PM »
You didn't bring those Leicester bees over in your car did you Allan? :D
a third rate mind follows the crowd

Offline Allan Mason

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2016, 09:01:38 PM »
You didn't bring those Leicester bees over in your car did you Allan? :D

 ;D

Not that I'm aware of, but I'm sure all sorts of wildlife gets accidentally hauled around Europe and across the Channel.

Al

thediggers

  • Guest
Re: Strange insect
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2016, 10:55:10 AM »
A little word of warning on the  mud dauber. They like to build their mud shells in your mozzie blind, especially when they are down this time of the year and perhaps the outside shutter partly closed. Then when you eventually let the mozzie blind go up the mud shell breaks and comes tumbling down in the window well contents and all. The contents, apart from it's egg, are the nice suprise - little spiders and lots of them all over you and/or your windowsill!