Page last updated at 08:23 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 09:23 UK
Violet carpenter bee spotted in Worcestershire
Violet Carpenter bee
The Violet Carpenter is the largest solitary bee in Europe

A violet carpenter bee has been spotted in a garden near Tenbury Wells, and the search is on for more populations.

This is the first time the bee has been recorded in Worcestershire.

Steve Bloomfield, from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: "This is a really exciting record, as it's a very rare insect in this country.

The bee, the largest solitary bee in Europe at 25mm in length, gets its 'carpenter' name from excavating nest burrows in dead wood.

Reporting

Violet Carpenter bee
There are a scattering of records of the bee in the south

Anyone who thinks they have seen a violet carpenter bee should contact the Biological Records Centre at records@wbrc.org.uk

Records must be accompanied by a photograph and include species name, place name, location (postcode, gird reference), date and abundance (one or several).

Steve Bloomfield, who's one of the Trust's conservation officers, said: "Despite their size, these bees aren't aggressive and are unlikely to sting - they're harmless to people and breed in old wood of all types.

"While it is likely that bees found in the south of England are natural migrants that have flown the channel, it's possible that inland records might have arrived in imported timber, and have successfully over-wintered here.

"It's really important that people across our county report any sightings they may have of this bee, to enable us to monitor populations and build up a picture of their spread."




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