Hymenoptera in Worcestershire 2011

Geoff Trevis

This year has proved interesting in terms of hymenoptera, largely because of the weather I suspect. Early on the omens were good with numbers and range of species suggesting much to come. However, later in the season, although most species expected were found, the numbers were generally very low. Similar experiences were reported from around the country and the consensus of opinion is that the drought resulted in an impoverished flora with low yields of nectar and pollen. It would be interesting to know what bee keepers’ experiences have been. Nonetheless 287 records relating to 102 species were added to the database.

An analysis of the sites from which the records came shows, not surprisingly, that those visited on recording days or which were the subject of more systematic monitoring produced the most records. However, other very important sites were entirely missed (or records were not sent to me) e.g. Hartlebury Common. Hence the highest number of records (83) came from Kemerton, including the Lake and Upstones Orchard, which benefited both from a recording day and monthly survey by me whilst the Devil’s Spittleful provided only a single record. Other sites providing a good number of records were Bliss Gate (10), Cherry Orchard at Worcester (12), sites around Knighton-on-Teme (14), Rochford including Birchfields (27), Upper Blackstone Farm (20), Wilden Marsh (16) and Wyre Forest (31).

The table below shows the rarer species and the sites from which they came.

SpeciesEnglish NameStatusSite
Andrena apicataA mining beeNbBliss Gate
Andrena nigrospinaA mining beeRDB2Ismere & Upper Blackstone Farm
Andrena similisA mining beeNaUpper Blackstone Farm
Andrena trimmeranaTrimmer’s mining beeNbKemerton Lake
Anoplius caviventrisA spider-hunting waspNbFar Forest
Anoplius concinnusA spider-hunting waspScarceWilden marsh
Bombus ruderariusRed-tailed carder beeLocalYew Tree Hill, Droitwich
Bombus rupestrisA cuckoo beeNbDroitwich Canal towpath
Coelioxys conoideaA cuckoo beeLocalCherry Orchard, Worcester
Colletes fodiensA mining beeLocalCherry Orchard, Worcester
Dasypoda hirtipesHairy-legged mining beeNbCherry Orchard Worcester & Upper Blackstone Farm
Lasioglossum malachurumA mining beeNbKemerton Lake
Lasioglossum xanthopusA mining beeScarceRochford, Birchfields
Lasius brunneusAn antNbKemerton Lake
Melitta leporinaA mining beeNbHill Court Farm
Nomada flavopictaA solitary beeScarceWildlen Marsh
Nomada fucataA solitary beeScarceKemerton Lake
Nomada fulvicornis6-banded nomad beeRDB3Rochford, Birchfileds
Nomada guttulataA solitary beeRDB3Rochford, Birchfileds
Nomada lathburianaA solitary beeRDB3Kemerton Lake
Sphecodes crassusA cuckoo beeNbUpper Blackstone Farm
Sphecodes nigerA cuckoo beeRDB3Kemerton Lake
Sphecodes puncticepsA cuckoo beeLocalChapel Farm, Heightington
Sphecodes rubicundusA cuckoo beeNaChapel Farm, Heightington
Symmorphus crassicornisA mason waspRDB3Droitwich Canal

Looking at these a few things should be noted:

Andrena nigrospinaFinding this at Ismere is particularly significant as it starts to provide a link between the population at Highgate Common in Staffordshire and Upper Blackstone Farm in Worcestershire
Bombus ruderariusThis is a bumblebee whose population has been declining markedly and which should have a higher rarity status.
Bombus rupestrisMany cuckoo bees are solitary species but this is a bumblebee which parasitises the nests of the Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius.
Lasius brunneusIt might seem strange in Worcestershire to accord this ant Nb status. However, nationally it remains rare and confined to the Severn and Thames catchments.
Nomada guttulataThis is a very rare species and the identification will need to be verified.
Nomada lathburianaThe population of this nomad bee has been increasing and it probably no longer justifies its RDB status.
Symmorphus crassicornnisLike N. guttulata this species is very rare and the identification needs confirmation.

I should also note that I have been adding to the list of sawflies with several additions to the county list. However, as nobody has been doing sawflies until now, adding to the list is not exactly difficult. The species for the year are Abia sericea at Upton Warren, Ametastegia glabrata at Wilden Marsh, Arge cyanocrocea at Stoke Bliss, Arge ochropus at Cherry Orchard Worcester and Wilden Marsh, Macrophya duodecimpunctata from Bell Coppice, Pachyprotasis rapae from Birchfields Rochford and Knighton-on-Teme, Rhogogaster viridis from Kemerton, Tenthredo arcuata from Wyre Forest Longdon, T. maculata from Longdon and Bell Coppice, T. mesomelas from Little Bannals and Tenthredopsis nassata from Huddington. Of these, only Abia sericea is a rarity.

In addition to my own records I am indebted to the following people for referring specimens to me for identification and addition to the database:

Rosemary Winnall: Andrena apicata, Coelioxys conoidea,Sphecodes puncticeps,Sphecodes rubicundus, Macrophya duodecimpunctata, Thenthredo maculata.

Brett Westwood: Andrena nigrospina

Susan Limbrey: Anoplius caviventris

Steven Bloomfield: Bombus ruderarius

Harry Green: Colletes fodiens, Dasypoda hirtipes, Melitta leporina, Sphecodes crassus, Sphecodes niger, Abia sericea, Arge cyanocrocea, Arge ochropus (Cherry Orchard), Tenthredopsis nassata.