- Contact details
- Affiliated Groups
- BENHS Groups
The Programme of Indoor Meetings starts with our joint meeting with the London Natural History Society and the Brad Ashby Memorial Lecture on the evening of Wednesday 1 October 2014 at Imperial College, London. The Annual Exhibition moves this year to the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London on Saturday 8 November 2014. Identification Workshops and Open Days will be held at Dinton Pastures at weekends, and in addition two Identification Workshops will be held at the Natural History Museum, London also at weekends. The Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 21 March 2015, again hosted by the Oxford University Museum, whose help in making their excellent facilities available is greatly appreciated.
The recently-acquired Graham and Helen Howarth Room at Dinton Pastures enables the Society to hold indoor meetings, with up to 36 people attending, in comfortable and pleasant surroundings in the same building as the Library and Collections Room. These facilities were formally opened on Sunday 22 April 2012. As well as BENHS events being held here it is hoped that affiliated groups and other entomological societies will also make use of the new accommodation to hold a variety of indoor and field meetings as well as workshops. To book these venues please contact Mike Edwards in the first instance (address at the end of this notice).
We are very grateful to the Big Lottery Fund and OPAL for the laptop and digital imaging equipment, capable of being coupled to a suitable microscope, which is available for use in the Graham and Helen Howarth Room. This equipment enables workshop leaders to project images of specimens on the microscope stage during their presentations. Council hopes that these arrangements will again prove popular and will be supported by new and long-standing members alike. These meetings are an excellent way to meet other entomologists and to hear about what is happening in the world of natural history. Members are encouraged to bring exhibits and to report any entomological news or interesting observations at the start of each meeting. The following list also includes the major annual events for those groups affiliated to BENHS, with additional information available via their web sites for those wishing to attend.
Professor Jeremy Field will give the this year’s Brad Ashby Memorial Lecture entitled Extended parental care and joint nesting in a UK digger wasp. Professor Field heads a team at Sussex University which focuses on the behavioural and evolutionary ecology of social systems, using wasps and bees as model systems.
Extended parental care and joint nesting in a UK digger wasp
Nest-building Hymenoptera are unusual among insects in providing their offspring with parental care. Examples are nest-building wasps, in which offspring are provisioned by their mothers using paralysed arthropods. Ammophila pubescens is a relatively large digger wasp found on heather-dominated heathland in southern England. Females normally nest alone, digging nest burrows in sandy soil. Each burrow contains a single offspring, which is provisioned by the mother using lepidopteran caterpillars. An unusual feature of the nesting biology, more commonly associated with social wasps and bees, is that larvae are fed progressively as they grow, with more than one burrow being maintained at the same time. In my lecture, I will first discuss why A. pubescens exhibits progressive provisioning. I will then talk about on-going observations and experiments aimed at understanding why some offspring are fed by more than one adult female.
The lecture is the major part of the annual joint meeting with the London Natural History Society, this year hosted by the BENHS in Lecture Theatre 2.28 in the Royal School of Mines building at Imperial College. The entrance is in Prince Consort Road (about ten minutes walk from South Kensington underground station). The evening starts at 18.00 with the lecture beginning at 18.30. Exhibits and communications are very welcome.