Bumbling towards summer

Yesterday I was planting out some of the flowers and vegetables bursting from their modules in the greenhouse. So I was head down in the borders and beds for much of the day. There was a lot of humming going on, but it wasn’t me. It was bees, or rather bumblebees.

Early bumblebee on chives

Wings vibrating – a worker Early bumblebee humming

Looking around there were hardly any honey bees, but there were plenty of bumblebees.

They were enjoying the alliums. They were all over A. ‘Purple Sensation’, but strangely they avoided A. cristophii:

Tree bumblebee on Allium

Tree bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum, on Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Honey bee on A. 'Purple Sensation

Honey bee on A. ‘Purple Sensation’

They love the chives:

Buff-tailed bumblebee on chives

Buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, on chives

There should be a good crop of beans this year,  if pollination is the deciding factor:

Common carder bee on broad beans

Common carder bee, Bombus pascuorum, on broad beans

They were queueing for the Centaurea montana:

Bees on Centaurea

The highly attractive Centaurea: bumblebees queueing for access!

And the open-flowered ‘Amazone’ dahlias I’d brought home the day before from a quick grocery shop (arguing that butterflies would really love them) proved an instant hit.

Early bumblebee on Dahlia

Early bumblebee, Bombus pratorum on Dahlia ‘Amazone’

I think this is a garden bumblebee on the Nepeta. They have funny long faces and prefer flowers with deep tubes:

Garden bumblebee

Garden bumblebee, Bombus hortorum, on Nepeta

I’ve not identified the next one, but I think that I must have dug up its hole in the ground, because it kept buzzing around and settling on nearby leaves while I planted some Antirrhinum:

unidentified bee

Any ideas?

It is heartening to see so many bumblebees doing their stuff around the garden, but I do worry that there are so few honey bees in contrast.

These bumblebees were identified (if I’ve got them right of course!) through the Bumblebee Conservation Organisation website

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About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in Nature, The home garden and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bumbling towards summer

  1. Julie says:

    Lovely post, I find bees tricky to identify even with the help of photos. I am reading Dave Goulsons book The sting in the tale, he is passionate about bumblebees, it’s a good read. My alliums are not quite open, I hope they do as good a job as yours.

    • Yes, me too. All the different versions (queen, worker, male) of bees adds to the confusion. A friend recommended Dave Goulson’s book, so I bought the kindle version and am ashamed to say that I haven’t started it yet. I am sure your alliums will be very popular with the insects and it is nice that you have got that to come.

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