Red mason bee

Osmia bicornis

The red mason bee are little solitary bees which tend to nest in cavities in walls or in solitary bee hotels.

They are usually on the wing from late March to June, so look out for them in gardens! Females collect mud and carry it back to the nest to seal individual cells in these cavities, which contains an egg, nectar and pollen.

Both males and females of this species have ginger hair on their abdomen, however females are bigger than males and possess little horns on their face, which can help with identification of this species.

Since they are a member of the Megachilidae family, they carry pollen on a pollen brush, also called a scopa, under their abdomen. This is very unlike the pollen carrying structures of honeybees, for example, as they carry pollen on the tibia of their hind legs in structures called corbiculae.

Look out for them going in and out of the solitary bee hotel in the Growing The Future Garden.