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« Pantaloon bees & small shaggy bees at Castle Rocks | Main | From the Clifftop »

Great Dixter Long-horned Bees

The stunning garden meadows at Great Dixter are reminiscent of a traditional style of agriculture which is now rarely seen in the High Weald. These flower-rich meadows which include green-winged orchids, dyer's greenweed, adder's-tongue fern and corky-fruited water-dropwort, grown under scattered fruit trees, probably originated from small pockets of old unimproved meadow incorporated into the garden design. 

Scattered throughout the meadows are dense patches of meadow vetchling which are very important for the population of long-horned bees Eucera longicornis at Great Dixter. Today we recorded 7 female long-horned bees within Orchard Meadow (below), mostly foraging from meadow vetchling and one record from bush vetch.

Also out in numbers within the meadows and grassland at Great Dixter is the clover blunt-horn bee Melitta leporina (below photo of male). A new record for the site today was the jewel wasp Chrysis viridula, a cleptoparasite and possible parasitoid of the potter wasp Odynerus spinipes.

Andy Phillips

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