What's the deal with solitary bees?

What are solitary bees? The clue is in the name, solitary bees do not live in a colony like honey bees or bumblebees, they don't have a queen or make honey, and they live alone, but they are a vital pollinator in your garden and make up 90% of the bee varieties here in the UK - approximately 240 different types of bee. Some look like small bumblebees while others are almost entirely black in colour. 

Solitary bees make their nests in a number of different ways, some use leaves or mud, while others find small holes to hide inside, which is where adding a bee hotel to your garden or balcony comes into the picture, as they can burrow into the holes which they will then plug up with leaf matter or soil, this is how you can tell that a 'room' is being occupied!

The best place for a bee hotel is attached to a wooden fence or shed, they don't like to be blown about by the wind, it should be about waist or chest height and in a sunny spot, ideally near to flowers and plants which are bee friendly and perhaps also a source of fresh water. 

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