Ivy pollinators citizen science project

Ivy bee 20161011_143817.png

Today, finally, after several years of hunting for them in Northamptonshire, I got to see some Ivy Bees (Colletes hederae) and managed to get a couple of decent photos.  The Ivy Bee is a recent natural colonist to the British Isles, having arrived here in 2001.  The Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society (BWARS) is running an Ivy Bee Mapping Project and you can find out more details by following that link.

The bees we saw today were a few minutes walk from the University and were (it’s galling to admit) discovered by Fergus Chadwick, a keen young ecologist who is working with me for a couple of months to gain some postgraduate research experience.

The main thing that Fergus is going to work on is a Pollinators of Ivy Monitoring Project.  Follow that link and it will give you details of how you can provide us with data to better understand the pollination ecology of one of our most ecologically valuable and under-rated plants.  Ivy (Hedera helix) is a hugely important nectar source to a wide range of over wintering bees, flies, beetles, hoverflies, wasps, and other insects.  Not only that but its berries are a vital food source for many fruit eating birds.  Any and all help in this project is very much appreciated!

11 thoughts on “Ivy pollinators citizen science project

  1. standingoutinmyfield

    So that’s another recently naturalized bee…do you have any you would call invasive? From my research it seems like the US has the largest introduced bee fauna (~42 species), but I think other countries are less well studied.

  2. afrenchgarden

    Another great project. They open our eyes. I had never noticed the difference between juvenile and mature ivy. One of my favourite spots for watching the pollinators on the ivy was cut back by heavy machinery a week ago. Luckily there is plenty high up in trees for the pollinators but much less low enough for me to see. Amelia

  3. Sarah Hawkes

    Would photos of pollinators on the ivy help? I have a growing collection from this year from my local South facing patch – no ivy bees yet but harlequin ladybirds out in force.

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