These spiders have a retreat at the end of one of the main strands supporting their web, somewhere like a curled over leaf, where they take what they have caught once they have wrapped it up and subdued it. This one has got a bee I think:
This picture shows the cross shaped pale marking on the abdomen which is characteristic of this large and very variably coloured spider.
I went to Woodwalton Fen yesterday (lovely, sunny Sunday) mainly to try and photograph dragonflies, especially the Ruddy darter (Sympetrum sanguineum). But I also came across a very striking black and yellow orb spider which I don't think I have seen before. A bit of searching through the books suggested that it was Araneus marmoreus var pyramidatus. The "Country Life book of spiders" (Dick Jones) says that this is "very local in Eastern England".
The map from the NBN Gateway shows the bias towards eastern England quite well. The 10km square in which Woodwalton Fen is located (TL28) is already marked!
|Grid map for Araneus marmoreus from NBN Gateway retrieved 30/09/2013|