Over 90% of our bee species are solitary, and although these solitary species may often nest in dense populations, each nest is the work of a single female.
The offspring of those solitary bees, active in spring, complete their development in the late summer and over-winter as adults, emerging the following year. Offspring of the later-appearing species over-winter as full grown larvae and mature the following spring.
There is a selection of common solitary bees that can be found in Britain's gardens. These can be formed into two groups, the Mining Bees and the Cavity Nesting Bees.
Moths are just as affected by habitat loss as butterflies, with numbers dropping by a third since 1968. Some moths, like the Reddish Buff and Barberry Carpet are highly threatened. Other species, like the Bordered Gothic may now be extinct in the UK.
Moths are an essential part of the food chain for birds, bats and mammals. Blue Tit chicks alone feed on an estimated 35 billion caterpillars a year in Britain. The sharp drop in our garden bird populations may be directly related to the drop in moth numbers.
Studying moths was a fashionable hobby as far back as the early 1700s. Many of the species more fanciful names, like Peach Blossom and Puss Moth, were coined at this time.
• One ladybird may eat over 4000 aphids in a lifetime.
• Ladybirds lay eggs on plants, usually near aphids or similar infestations. Baby ladybirds are called larvae – they hatch from eggs after 3-4 days.
• Larvae turn into adult ladybirds after about 3 weeks.
• Ladybird habitats provide refuge all year round.
• Ladybirds secrete reflex blood (foul tasting yellow fluid) to deter predators.
• The harlequin ladybird from Asia out-competes our native species for food, as well as preying on larvae and is thus considered a serious threat.