Scientific Classifications explained    Amphibians
  » Amphibians
  » Ants

  » Aphids

  » Bees

  » Beetles

  » Birds

  » Bugs

  » Butterflies

  » Caterpillars

  » Damselflies

  » Dragonflies

  » Earwigs

  » Flies

  » Frog/Leafhoppers

  » Fungi

  » Galls

  » Grasshoppers

  » Harvestmen

  » Hoverflies

  » Lacewings

  » Ladybirds

  » Leaf Mines

  » Lichens

  » Mammals

  » Millipedes

  » Mosses

  » Moths

  » Sawflies

  » Slugs

  » Snails

  » Spiders

  » Trees

  » Wasps

  » Wild Flowers

  » Woodlice

UK Nature  > Bees  > Osmia bicornis

Scientific Name:   Osmia bicornis
Common Name:   Red Mason Bee

Osmia bicornis or, as it's more commonly known, the Red Mason Bee, is an aerial nesting bee that often nests in holes in walls and timber. Flies from late March to late May. The males are smaller than the females (8 - 10 mm, as opposed to 10 to 12 mm). Both sexes are covered in dense gingery hairs, the male with white tufts on the head while the female's head is black. One key feature in identifying females is the presence of two 'horns' on the front of the head (see photo above).

Osmia bicornis is active from early spring, the male being the first to appear when the weather becomes mild in March, the female emerging later. Like all bees it feeds on pollen. It is a solitary bee, each nest being the work of a single female bee working alone. They nest in pre-existing cavities such as hollow plant stems, old garden canes, air bricks, and even old nail holes in fence posts, lining the inside of the cavity with mud. Common and widespread in England and Wales, less records from further north.
 is a website dedicated to showing the immense diversity of UK nature and wildlife. Our vast range of habitats, from lowland arable to snow covered mountains, from storm-ravaged coastlines to peaceful inland freshwater lakes and rivers, from dry, sandy heaths to deciduous and coniferous forests, all these habitats contribute to the abundance of UK nature. We have wild birds in huge numbers either residing or visiting our shores (597 recorded species as at July 2013) and we must also not forget the humble back garden with its grass lawns, flower beds filled with nectar rich flowers, shrubs and trees, all designed to attract huge numbers of insects such as bees, moths, butterflies and hoverflies; and finally the small ponds which provide safe havens for frogs, toads, newts and even slow worms and grass snakes. is the showcase for my personal passion, photographing uknature in all its glory. I sincerely hope you all enjoy the fruits of my labours.

This site and all images contained therein is © Jeremy Lee 2004 - 2021. All Rights Reserved. Site design by Jeremy Lee. Site development & IT Support by Stuart Lee.