On April 15th, 2020, I noticed and photographed a male Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis) guarding two old “rawlplug” holes in an east-facing wall of my garden in Formby (SD28380802). A week later, a pair was in cop. by the holes. Thereafter, the female busily attended the nest-holes but was elusive and difficult to photograph. Both holes were sealed on April 30th, and the progeny will, hopefully, appear next year.
In the early morning of April 23rd, I noticed a small beetle on the edge of one of the holes which was identified as Ptinus sexpunctatus (Six-spotted Spider Beetle). The following morning, three of them were near the holes
According to NBN Atlas, this is the third v.c.59 sighting, all of which are within the past 5 years. There two records on the NBN Atlas are just to south at Runcorn (2016) and Penketh (2018). There is also a record from 2019 at Woolton by Steve McWilliam. Further East there are a few Yorkshire records going a bit further north. The beetle has a mainly southern distribution but is evidently moving north.
Ptinus sexpunctatus is a scavenger of dead insects and is found near, or in, bee nests; it’s larvae have a commensal relationship with Osmia and Megachile solitary bee genera