Below you will find an alphabetical list of many of the insects that you might commonly find in Irish hedgerows.
ANTSWe have 20 species of ants.They are all social and have colonies and may have more than one queen. The colonies are perennial,, a whole colony survives from year to year. Worker ants cannot fly so they must collect food on the ground. Male and female ants have wings when they hatch out as adults and on fine autumn evenings they fly from the nest in a swarm.. After mating the females fall to the ground and bite off their wings.
BEES (BUMBLE)There are 19 species of bumblebees in Ireland. One of the solitary bees has only been found in Ireland at 2 sites, one of these near Wexford has been built on and the other is in an old sandpit near Skerries now also in danger of being built on. Solitary bees do not live in colonies and have no worker bees. The colonies are perennial, surviving from year to year. They are pollinators and can be introduced for that purpose in crop farming.
There are over 70 species of these in Ireland. They look like small honeybees. Some solitary bees are can be seen very early feeding on dandelions and pussy willows. Others like hawkbits, knapweed, ragwort, umbellifers and blackberry. They also pollinate apple and raspberry blossom. The males and females emerge and mate. Then the female makes her nest, on a sunny banks where her burrow is 10 to 15 cm long, other species build in hollow stems or in pithed stems like bramble or elder. Leafcutter bees build their nests from discs of leaves, often cut from rose leaves.