The Small Scissor Bee (Chelostoma campanularum) is an insect in the mason bee family. It is also known as the Hare-Bell Carpenter Bee. It is a pollinator.
The Small Scissor Bee is small, black, and shiny. It has a narrow, cylindrical body with a large head. It has black legs and black antennae.
It grows to about 1 centimetre (between half an inch and one inch) long. It is England’s smallest bee.
The Small Scissor Bee is native to the southern and central parts of England, and widespread in Europe and North Africa. It is mostly seen in summer, from June to August. It prefers gardens, heathlands, and downlands.
It is an oligolectic pollinator, which means that it collects pollen from a limited range of flowers—in this case, only the Bellflowers belonging to the Campanula genus—the Hare-Bell. The female collects pollen under her abdomen.
It is a solitary bee, and does not live in hives or swarms.
The female nests inside woodworm and beetle holes in dead wood. The male sleeps inside flowers.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM