The Bee Wolf or Bee Killer Wasp Philanthus triangulum is a digger wasp that nest in sandy soils, digging a tunnel in which it will store paralysed Honey bees on which it's larva will feed. Fifty years ago this insect was very restricted in it's distribution, being mostly confined to the Isle of Wight and nearby coastal areas of Hampshire. During the past thirty years it has extended its range to much of lowland southern England. The below pictures were taken in Bedfordshire.

 

The first Bee Wolf Wasp that I found (above) was at the new quarry area at Sandy Heath at a BNHS meeting in 1996. A few years later I found a strong colony above Sandy, which is where I took the below photographs.

A male patrolling over the breeding ground.

 

Fights sometime break out, and the one on the left killed the other one after a battle that lasted about 2 minutes.

 

A female flying in with a Honey Bee prey.

 

Now where is my hidden tunnel? The wasp must now find and uncover the burrow enterance.

 

Taking the Honey Bee down into the burrow.

 

All packed away safely, and she is exiring the burrow.