The sandstone & clay cliffs, flowery undercliff, cliff-top heathland, semi-natural grassland and scrubby woodland edge of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve are outstanding for Hymenoptera Aculeata, a group of insects that includes the bees, ants and wasps. The sandy ground and legume rich grasslands of the nature reserve produce an abundance of nesting habitat and a rich pollen and nectar resource for these insects. So far 204 species of aculeate have been recorded for the nature reserve and a checklist of the Hymenoptera Aculeata has been produced that lists all the species so far recorded.
The checklist is a taxonomic checklist listing species according to currently accepted phylogenetic relationships and lists all the superfamilies, families, subfamilies, genera, subgenera and species recorded within Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. Synonyms are also listed so this list can be compared with older lists produced for the Hastings area.
Currently on the wing at the moment is one of the most charismatic of British bees the long-horned bee, Eucera longicornis. This is a nationally scarce species and a priority species for conservation in the UK. The females nest in clay banks on the undercliff and specialise in collecting pollen from members of the pea family such as bird’s-foot trefoil, kidney vetch, meadow vetchling and grass vetchling. The males with their very long antennae are a conspicious feature along the undercliff defending territory and nectaring from bramble flowers.