Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: May-Aug.

Forewing: 9-22mm.

Foodplant: Honeycomb in hives.

IMPORTANT - Please note that the maps and accounts are provisional, subject to change and further update.  The whole dataset still needs to go through the final verification process and it is likely that a very small number of records will not satisfy the present requirements and there are other records that have not been formally submitted.  The information is for guidance only.

Record breakdown:

Year first recorded187719941877
Year last recorded201020102010
Number of records4061261064
Number of individuals357136986
Unique positions19824444
Unique locations16420368
Adult records375123996
Immature records102

For the region, we have a total of 1064 records from 368 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1877.


1428 Aphomia sociella (Bee Moth) 03 female
© Julian Francis
1428 Aphomia sociella (Bee Moth) 02 male
© Gillian Nash, May 2015
1428 Aphomia sociella (Bee Moth) 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in Britain, the larva living in the nests of wild bees and wasps above the ground, and feeding eventually on everything therein, including nest walls and even the brood. In Dorset, the moth is widespread and at low density, rising to frequent, locally, on sandy soils. A partial bivoltine cycle is suspected from the data in addition to the single cycle, with individuals on the wing between late May and late August.

A very late singleton appeared at the peak of a notable immigration from southern Europe and north Africa: Arne Wood, at MV light on 14 October 1995 (B Pickess).

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species