Garden bees

Wild bumblebees – as regular readers will know, are one of my favourite subjects. We are now in our second week of rain (and yes I know some of you are looking for it), but how do the bees cope. They just wait for a break in the showers. Not that there were many  today.

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Common carder bee

Some clever bees feed on the flowers in the greenhouse and polytunnel. But yesterday when I was in there during a heavy down pour I noticed the buzzing stopped. I couldn’t see the bees so think they’d gone back to their nests. Outside they wait for the brief glimpses of sun. The lupins are popular with many of the bees (here just white tailed).

While the larger Garden bumblebees seem to like the delphiniums, even those that have fallen over in the wind and rain.

The garden bumblebees also use the blue iris.

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I have only seen the carder bee on the lavender (and some butterflies too). Both the carders and garden bumbles bees will still fly in light rain, I suppose they have to, otherwise they will starve. It is important to have lots of variety of flowers in your garden, that way you will attract lots of different bees, and other pollinators.

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Inspired by Lens Artist Photo Challenge #48 – Wild

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31 thoughts on “Garden bees

    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      I must try Larkspur again. While the slugs like delphiniums they do manage to come back every year:)

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      I see a difference between species. Early bumblebees are really fast busy bees and hard to get a photo of. Carders can be tricky too but I take lots of photos and delete blurred ones. Big bees like the garden bumblebee are much slower and therefore easier to photograph. Another tip is to get them early in the morning before they have warmed up too much.

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  1. Meanderer

    I’ve noticed bees buzzing around the garden during these spells of rain – they also love the poppies in the greenhouse. Yesterday, they seemed to be drawn to the herb robert!

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  2. Helen

    I saw bumblebees hanging on the phacelia again today. I really do wonder if they are sheltering from the rain or if they doze off! Either way, it is a shame for them if there is continual rain.

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  3. susurrus

    I was thinking the same about some cinnabar moths we have in the garden this year (how do they manage in all the rain?). Hide under leaves, I suppose. It looks from your pictures as if some of the flowers could almost be umbrellas for the bees.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Yes, I think the butterflies and moths do hide under leaves. Of course the bees can head back to their nests but I know the males will hang out in flowers too.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Yes different bees have different tongue lengths. Those with short tongues cannot reach the nectar in some flowers 😀

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  4. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

    Thank you. The white tailed are one of our commonest need and they are having good year this year.

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