As with other woodland insects, the fortunes of several bees have been adversely affected by modern woodland management - the abandonment of coppicing leading to stands of mature broadleaved trees or the establishment of coniferous plantations. Both these woodland types eventually shade out the understorey and its rich and varied herb communities. One bee adversely affected by such changes is Osmia pilicornis, though where suitable conditions exist it can still be locally common.
A paper describing the biology and habitat of this species Distribution, biology and habitat of the rare European osmiine bee species Osmia (Melanosmia) pilicornis (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae, Osmiini) by Rainer Prosi, Heinz Wiesbauer & Andreas Müller can be downloaded here
BWARS member Rosie Earwaker has produced:
- a fact sheet about O. pilicornis;
- a summary of the results of 2013 and 2014 surveys for O. pilicornis;
- A report on habitat assesment for O. pilicornis.
These can be downloaded from the links below:
This species is largely confined to deciduous woodland in southern England, from Kent to Cornwall (though it is very rare in the south-west), northwards to Hereford and Worcester and Suffolk. In Wales, known only from Mid Glamorgan. There are no records from the Channel Islands or Ireland. It is a scarce species, but is occasionally numerous in a few sites, e.g. woodland near Goodwood, West Sussex.