Recent research on the northern Colletes mining bee Colletes floralis Eversmann

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:J. Bowler, Sears, J., Hunter, J.
Journal:The Glasgow Naturalist

The northern Colletes mining bee is a UK Biodiversity Action  Plan  (UKBAP)  priority  species  listed  as Rare.
Since  2001,  nesting  aggregations  of  this  species  have been monitored annually on the RSPB Reef reserve on the  Isle  of  Tiree  in  the  Inner  Hebrides.  Eight  nest ing aggregations  were  found  on  the  reserve  in  2001-2002, one was lost to natural causes in 2004 whilst three new aggregations  were  discovered  in  2005-6  bringing  the total  of  active  aggregations  to  ten  in  2007  and  2008.
Seven of the nesting aggregations were associated with man-made  features. This  highlights  the  ability  of  the species   to   nest   at   new   locations   as   they   become suitable  and  suggests  a  possible  management  tool  for enticing bees to nest in areas currently lacking suitable nest-sites.  Management  in  the  form  of  winter  cattle grazing  has  maintained  a  stable  population  on  the reserve.   
Since  2000,  surveys  for  northern  Colleteshave  been  undertaken  by  staff  and  researchers  from RSPB   and   Hymettus   Ltd   (formerly   the   Aculeate Conservation  Group)  in  areas  with  historical  records and   of   other   potentially   suitable   herb-rich   coastal habitat. These have revealed the continued presence of the   bee   at   two   sites   in   N.   Ireland:   Ballymaclary/Portstewart    Strand/Umbra    and    White    Park    Bay/Bushfoot Strand, one in England: Duddon Estuary, and six  in  Scotland:  Berneray  to  Vatersay  in  the  Outer Hebrides, Tiree/ Coll, Islay, Colonsay / Oronsay, Irvine in   Ayrshire   and   Machrihanish   in   Kintyre.  
Optimal habitat management for the bee is being encouraged in all these areas

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith