Rare bee at Cemetery Park


Ken Greenway of the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park writes:

The Viper’s Bugloss Mason Bee (Hoplitis adunca) was found in the Cemetery Park by local bee expert Mark Patterson on 17 June. Excitingly, this is only the fourth known record for this species in the whole UK, all of them in London. The first UK record was in Greenwich Ecology Park in 2016, and it is now well established on that site.

Its common name of Viper’s Bugloss Mason Bee comes from the fact that its preferred flower is Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare), which can be found in abundance at the Cemetery Park. The bee is a solitary species, so lives on its own rather than in colonies, and makes its nest in hollow stems or holes in wood which are capped with mud. This species of bee is common in continental Europe and, because it’s a hole-nesting bee, it may have found its way to the UK while nesting in cavities in freight or vehicles.

New records like this for the Cemetery Park call to attention the importance of urban green space and convey the significant ecological value we offer and the importance of complementary and sympathetic management in parks for wildlife.

Header photo: Viper’s Bugloss Mason Bee by Mark Patterson


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