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bee Nomad Bees

Identify It >   Invertebrates Section >   Nomad Bees >

Scientific name:  Nomada sp.

Size:  Up to 10mm

Distribution:  Found in most parts of Britain, especially southern England

Months seen:  April to July

Habitat:  Meadows, parks, gardens and hedgerows.

Food:  Nectar and pollen

Special features:  Nomad bees are very wasp-like in appearance.  The abdomen is almost hairless and the wings have a red-brown tinge.

Nomad bees lay their eggs in the nests of other bee species, especially Andrena sp.  This particular type of insect is known as a 'cleptoparasite', because it obtains nourishment from the body of the Andrena eggs, and it also steals the Andrena larvae food supply.

There are around 30 species of Nomad Bee in the UK, all similar in appearance.  They include; Nomada fulvicornis, Nomada ruficornis, Nomada hirtipes, Nomada flava, Nomada marshamella, Nomada ferruginata, Nomada flavopicta, Nomada lathburiana, Nomada goodeniana and Nomada pleurosticta.


2011 - Dartmoor, Devon - Dan Edwards
2013 - Sherborne, Gloucestershire - G. Bradley
2014 - Armthorpe, Doncaster, South Yorkshire - Diane Wardley

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