Rare bee found on Troopers Hill

A RARE species of bee has been recorded in the West of England for the first time.

The Nomad Bee, also known as Nomada zonata, was discovered by volunteer Susan Acton Campbell on Troopers Hill in St George.

She was taking part in a project run by the Natural History Consortium thanks to a £100,000 grant from the West of England Combined Authority.

The bee, with a distinctive wasp-like appearance, is hairless and does not collect pollen for its young, but is nonetheless known as an important pollinator of plants, fruit trees and wildflowers.

It was first recorded in England back in 2016, and there have been only 113 sightings of it in total – the closest one being in Stroud back in 2020. The identification has been confirmed by bee experts.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris, who wants to make the West of England the bee and pollinator capital of the UK, said he was “thrilled” to have recorded the new species which, as a “cuckoo bee” – one that lay eggs in the nest of others – is a good sign of a “super healthy” bee population in general.