Can you find the first Irish Ivy Bee?

Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae)

Ivy bee_Steven FalkPlease keep an eye out for the Ivy Bee. It has never been spotted in Ireland, but it is now common in Britain and seems likely to arrive on our shores very soon. It’s a solitary bee with an autumn flight period, to match the flowering of its favourite plant -Ivy. In Britain it can be found from early September until early November. It nests in south facing banks of light soil, you might ever be lucky enough to have it set up home in your garden!

I’ve taken to cycling past stand of Ivy on my way home from work – that’s the best place to have a chance of seeing it. It should be fairly easy to recognise – it’s  quite large and has very distinctive bands of white on the abdomen. To make it a little easier, most of our solitary bees have completed their life cycles for this year, but there will still be hoverflies on the wing. If you think you’ve spotted this bee please try to take a photograph and email it to us for validation.

Steven Falk has lots more fantastic photographs of the bee here: