Something is busy underground in the dunes leaving little piles of sand beneath small D-shaped holes. Wait patiently and a striking wasp will reverse out of the opening dragging a fresh excavation as it adds another extension to its burrow. It’s a beewolf, a solitary digger wasp that lays eggs underground and not in a hive.
Beewolves eat nectar and pollen, but there is a grisly side to the story.
Females capture honeybees, paralyse them with a sting and carry them back to the burrow where they seal them into a chamber still alive along with a single egg. When the egg hatches into a larva, the entombed bee is food until the larva is big enough to spin a cocoon and pupate for the winter. Come the summer a new wasp will emerge from the burrow.
Beewolves were once considered a rarity but there has been a huge increase in range and abundance since the late 1980’s.