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Ivy has the last decent flower for many bees and other insects before winter. It is rich in pollen and nectar, so good for honeybees. Please do not chop down the ivy until the flowers have faded!
I have noticed these bees in the last two or three years - ivy really buzzing with them. I live in Gloucestershire near the Welsh border and I believe these bees are slowly moving up the country.
the wasps love the ivy flowers oldchippy. so do the hoverflies. I don't think the ivy bees have got here yet, I've never seen one and I'm always bee watching
We have lots of honeybees on the ivy at the mo, I think we are too far north for ivybees.
Just after posting this blog a new map of spread was put up on the BWARS website: http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=content/colletes-hederae-2013 It's continuing to spread. And now Penny Frith has found it in Peckham: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pennymetal/10345545214/ Still none in East Dulwich though. Double harrumph.
I record and photograph everything that comes into our garden and we have a lovely run of Ivy along one fence that we maintain for wildlife. Unfortunately up to now I haven't had the pleasure of seeing ivy bees or photographing them! However I have enjoyed watching the Blackbirds that nest in in this Ivy, so another very good reason to grow some Ivy if you have the space.
Chris Packham made a plea tonight on A-watch to grow ivy, or at least leave it be, for the insects.
Ivy makes good cover as well as the food value. I wouldn't be without it, which is fortunate as I'd never be able to get rid of it.
@Forester. I wonder if you might possibly add the Gloucestershire Colletes hederae records to the BWARS database? This can be done online via http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=content/submit-sighting-colletes-hederae-ivy-bee
Lovely piece about them on R4 recently too http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03g8d60
could they be what I can see buzzing round the flowers on my ficus japonica? they're a bit too high up to see. I was wondering what they were and then up popped this thread!