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Masonry bees

- (Osmia rufa) small bees about the size of bluebottles which bore into stonework, claywall etc. Definitely becoming more common particularly in Scotland where they were once very rarely seen. They bore into softer stone and can break down the surface up to a depth of six inches. The inhabitation will be permanent unless treated with a suitable chemical. Strangely they seem undeterred by the presence of limewash which is held to have antiseptic qualities.