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Beginners Workshop 28 November - Cardiff

As usual there has been a steady stream of requests for identifications of aculeates, often from photographs. Helping new people to understand how to name the insects in this group, what to look for, whether the insect even is an aculeate, is an important part of the support BWARS offers. Much of this support is through the workshops held at various venues around the country.

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28 November 2015

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Sat, 28/11/2015

Beginners Workshop 28 November - Cardiff

As usual there has been a steady stream of requests for identifications of aculeates, often from photographs. Helping new people to understand how to name the insects in this group, what to look for, whether the insect even is an aculeate, is an important part of the support BWARS offers. Much of this support is through the workshops held at various venues around the country.

Philately

The Royal Mail is issuing a set of stamps on 18 August to celebrate British Bees. The species illustrated by Richard Lewington are: Andrena hattorfiana, Bombus monticola, Bombus distinguendus, Colletes floralis, Osmia xanthomelana and Anthophora retusa

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18 August 2015

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Tue, 18/08/2015

Book Launch

Publication date of Steven Falk's eagerly awaited Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland (Illustrated by the acclaimed artist Richard Lewington)

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5 November 2015

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Thu, 05/11/2015

Pompilid Auplopus carbonarius with Spider

The attached photos are of the spider hunter wasp Auplopus carbonarius, kindly identified from the attached photos by Michael Edwards - the fringe of long hairs around its lower “cheek” area under the head are apparently characteristic (I'm not a wasp specialist). The wasp was about 8 mm in length scurrying with its package across my patio, presumably looking for somewhere to stash the spider and lay an egg either in it or on it. I have not seen this before and followed it, on my hands and knees, for about 10 minutes before I was able to get the shots.

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Is this an aculeate?

A curious insect has been posted on iSpot which you might like to look at:

http://www.ispotnature.org/node/703750

It appears to have a wasp waist and looks too robust for an ichneumonoid. However it has very long antennae and an abdomen very dark dorsally and pale ventrally, which looks like nothing I can find in your records or random Googling for a possible vagrant. Oh, and it's from Orkney, which doesn't strike me as the most species-diverse area (or a likely place for a vagrant). Baffled.

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Oxybelus Wasp with non-dipteran prey

I noticed a small aggregation of nest holes in a local sandy path in Staffordshire today. The holes were visited by small black wasps and I managed a rather poor photograph of one returning to the area with prey impaled on its sting. I'm pretty sure this is an Oxybelus sp. because of the impaling behaviour - the cream-coloured abdominal markings are just discernible too.

I have read that Oxybelus prey on diptera. I'm not sure what this prey item was; but not a dipteran. Is this unusual?

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