Thick-legged Flower Beetle
National Insect Week 2022

Run by the Royal Entomological Society a whole week dedicated to insects and encouraging people of all ages to find out more about the little things that run the world. 

Insects may be small, but they have a huge impact on people and nature.” 

Professor Helen Roy MBERoyal Entomological Society President

Seedballers know that growing wildflowers and gardening with wildlife in mind is a fantastic way to attract pollinators. Why not go on a Garden Safari and see what mini-beasts you discover?

Here are a few beauties we’ve seen at the Seedball allotment this week.

Thick-legged flower beetle (Oedemera nobilis)

This iridescent green beetle is easy to spot on flower-centres in June. The male has exceptionally large back legs, these thunder-thighs attract the female, who has slim legs.

Also know as the Swollen-thighed Beetle or False Oil Beetle, theses beetles feed on nectar and pollen, making them the pollinators of many flowers. They range in size from 6mm to 1cm and can be seen from April to September. 

The female lays her eggs into wild plant stems. The young larvae live, feed and grow inside dry plant stems over the autumn and winter, before emerging as adult beetles. 

Hoverfly

There are around 283 Hoverfly species in the UK and identifying the different types is not always easy however being able to tell a Hoverfly from a Bee or Wasp is a good start! 

Harmless hoverflies mimic bees and wasps to deter birds and other insect-eating predators. 

Also known as flower-flies they eat pollen and nectar. Hoverflies have large eyes that join up on the front of their head. They have a wonderful ability to hover in flight. Some hoverflies buzz to deter predators too.

The small green or brown grubs are not fed by the adults, (like bee and wasp babies). Many hoverfly larvae feed on aphids and are beneficial insects to have in the garden.

Bumblebee and Honeybee

There are 24 species of bumblebee in the UK and one species of honeybee. Bumblebees are having a much harder time of it than honeybees, which are housed in hives and looked after by beekeepers.

Bumblebees are generally fatter and fluffier than honeybees and a very important pollinator. Bumblebees pollinate tomatoes for example, by knocking the pollen from the anther with their vibrating bodies. This is called buzz-pollination.

We can help garden insects and wildlife by growing wild flowers and leaving a wilder corner with dry stems and long grass for insects to shelter and nest.

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