Rare bee discovered at Brighouse Bay

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Friday 12th October 2007

A rare bee recorded only once in Scotland in the last 100 years has been discovered at Brighouse Bay. The discovery by consultant entomologist Neil Robinson of the Gold-fringed Mason Bee Osmia aurulenta was made on 11Gold-fringed Mason Bee Osmia aurulenta (© Neil Robinson) July this summer, foraging amongst Bird's-foot trefoil on the west side of the bay. The species is listed on the Scottish Biodiversity List and in the UK has a very southerly distribution (link to NBN website NBN map). The location of the sighting is outside the SSSI which Neil suspects will also be home to this species. Mason bees are solitary bees belonging to the family Megachilidae and are named after their construction of mud compartments in their nests. These occupy many different cavities, from holes made in wood or soil by other insects to empty snail shells as favoured by the Gold-fringed Mason Bee.