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As said above could someone help me identify this bug?  I seem to think it is some kind of bee.  It was about 2 inches long.  Here are the pics



 I have never seen anything like it before

John Harding

Bit blurred but that looks like a hornet. They attack bees in their hives but a solitary one will get smothered very quickly by the bees, many of which will die in the process. The bees create a temperature the hornet cannot survive in but having found a bees hive, if it escapes will bring all its relatives along which the bees can't fight against.


Are you good at stripy insects John. Can you do this one?

I can't find anything quite like it in my book


Only a guess but could it be a type of parasitic wasp?

Thanks John. Sorry about the pics, it was flapping around at the time and I was probably a bit shaky as it was big

I had a scout around on the net, thinking it was a hornet, but I am sure it isn't I looked at the different types of hornets and wasps and none of them came close, this had an all black face, furry body, the yellow parts you see near the head was like a yellow fur, wasps and hornets from my recollection are "smooth bodied".

Also at its widest part (excluding wings) it was about 1 inch, it was also acting very dazed and looked like its wings couldn't keep it weight in the air, I took it off of the compost bin and put it in the hedge (the compost bin does have what I think a solitary bee going in and out) 


thanks teen.

This was definitely not a wasp, I think it had to be seen to be believed, it was a giant.  I am not frightened of bees (I am of wasps - because of their relentless sting) I got up close because of it being similar to a bee but when I realised how big it was i was frightened

Did you happen to notice if it had 2 wings flapping or 4?  I know, I know...

waterbutts - I really cant remember for definite but am sure there were 4. What are your thoughts?

If it had 4 then it's not a fly. So now we only have to trawl through a few thousand bees, wasps and hornets...

I didnt realise how many types of bees etc there are, after reading about bees, wasps etc tonight, I think that this bee could have been a parasitic bee of the bombus genus. I would really love to know though


Looks like a right beast what ever it is. though it does look hornet like with that "hour glass" figure.


Nutcutlet, Could it be a queen wasp.  I have seen hornets in the past and they didn't look like that, I don't think.

As to the top pictures, are you sure it was 2 inches long, that is mighty!


MDW It looks like the European wool carder bee Anthidium manicatum to me.

We are assuming that you live in Britain, mdw84: you aren't going to tell us that you are in Guatemala or the Congo, are you?



Peter, I had wondered about a sawfly. The body shape is all wrong for the wasp family (no waist) but nothing quite like that one in my book.


I've had a good look at that Peter and I think you're right, . Thanks

nutcutlet, you're welcome

John Harding

Hi Nutcutlet,

Have been out all morning & just come in & logged on. I agree it is a sawfly. This is a pic I have just taken off Google images. not my pic: copyright is for 'A Dale' but that detail hasn't shown for some reason.


I had one lay its eggs on one of my gooseberry bushes a few years ago. You wouldn't believe how quickly a batch of sawfly grubs can consume every piece of foliage on a bush.