DESCRIPTION: Approximately 8 - 10mm. Also known as the Blue Mason Bee the males of this species are small and covered in gingery hair on a metallic-green surface. Tergite 6 has a rather irregular 'crenulate' hind edge and the hind basitarsi is toothless underneath. Females are bigger, have box-shaped heads, a blue-black body and a black-haired pollen brush beneath the abdomen. BEHAVIOUR: Males are usually the first to emerge each year. Adults forage on a wide range of flowers including Asters, White Clover, Germander Speedwell, Catmint, Red Dead Nettle, White Dead Nettle and Ground Ivy. Nests are constructed in existing cavities within wood such as fenceposts, or masonry, plant stems or even rocks. The nest cells are constructed of chewed up leaves where the female will deposit her egg before building the next chamber. DISTRIBUTION: Frequent but localised throughout England and Wales. HABITAT: Coastal areas, brownfield sites, woodlands and gardens. PERIOD: April to July and again in August.
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