Tag Archives: bumblebees

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #114 – Negative Space

This week Amy asks us to share images of negative space in photography. This is a new concept for me, but I like the idea. So here are some shots that I hope fit the challenge.

White butterfly on verbena
White tailed bumblebee leaving knapweed
Starlings on fence
Tree in landscape

Six on Saturday – 15th August 2020

This week in Ireland we are celebrating all things heritage for Heritage Week. This includes our wonderful natural heritage so I thought for this week’s six I would focus on an insect theme. This is what was happening around the garden today.

  1. Honey bee – I occasionally get honey bees coming into the garden. They are particularly partial to the opium poppies. In Ireland, our native honey bee is called Apis melifera melifera, and is a darker version of Apis melfiera. The darker colour is thought to be an adaptation to our colder climate.

2. Common carder bumblebees aren’t too fussy about which flowers they visit. Today I saw them on raspberries, comfrey and figworth. They are a great all rounder and you will even see them foraging in rain.

3. My third bee is the garden bumblebee. These bumbles are great runner bean pollinators but they like the poppies too.

4. And one more bee – this time on the runner beans is the white tailed bumble.

5. And sticking with insects but moving away from bees, is this little grasshopper, which I rescued from the water butt. Happy to say he hopped away seemingly unscathed, once he had dried off a bit.

6. And a final image for this week is a shieldbug instar – in other words an immature shieldbug that still needs to do some growing! I think this one may be the common green shieldbug.

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

Six on Saturday – 11th July 2020

Finally a dry Saturday and time to get out into the garden. Lots and lots of tidying up to do.

So first this week Worcester berries V Juvenile blackbird. A few weeks ago I posted about the still green Worcester berries. Well they are ripening nicely, but the juvenile blackbirds that was helping itself to blackcurrants last week, also appears to have a taste for Worcester berries. We picked about half a pound today for ourselves and hoping that we can harvest some more that still need a few days to ripen before the blackbird eats them all!

2. Meanwhile Robin friend (my daughter’s name for our friendly robin who will feed from her hand), appears exhausted after his/her brood has successfully fledged. We’ve seen it with two young ones. Here it was having a peaceful preen away from hectic family life.

3. Bee numbers are definitely down after a few miserable weeks but this garden bumble bee was enjoying what remains of the foxgloves.

Garden bumblebee on foxglove

4. Some of the self-seeded borage is now flowering in the vegetable patch and these always prove popular with the bees too.

Borage and White tailed bumblebee

5. Gypsophila – looking nice in a pot with some other flowers.

Gypsophila

6. And finally for this week some brassicas – a mix of red cabbage and brussel sprouts plants which have enjoyed the rain.

Brassicas

Thanks to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

Summer ………………….

Well not exactly – at least going by the weather. I was going to do a post about beaches and sunshine, but we haven’t been to a beach yet this summer. We could have gone in the spring when we had lovely dry and sunny weather but we were in lock-down. Since mid-June we have been having a lot of grey, dull and wet days. So, what else says summer to me? Well I am back to my favourite subjects.

Bees of course! I took this photo in the drizzly rain this evening but what struck me about it was that it reminded me of when Winnie the Pooh had his head stuck in a honey pot!

Our bumbles did really well in the late spring when there was plenty of sunshine, but numbers seem to be down now as they cope with the wetter weather. Some appear pretty hardy, particularly these large garden bumblebees. I have watched them feed on the sage outside the kitchen window even during rain showers. Now the bramble flowers are out they are feeding on them as are the white tailed bees and carder bees.

Of course as well as bees, butterflies make me think of summer too.

And their caterpillars. Here the cinnabar caterpillars (which is actually a day flying moth) have eat their way to the end of the ragwort plant. So it may not be just humans that over-exploit their resources.

Inspired by this week’s Lens Artist Photo Challenge – Summer

Six on Saturday – 4th July 2020

So rain seems to be a common theme with some Six On Saturday participants this week. As a gardener it is hard to get the “right” weather. Back in April and May it was too dry and now it is too wet!!

So first this week, a rather wet bee. Poor bumblebees are not enjoying this weather and numbers are well down from earlier in the year when they were enjoying the sunshine.

Garden bumblebee on sage

2. Next Campanula, this one is about 80-90cm and often gets battered by the wind. So will need to tie up today as it is due to get windy tonight.

3. Fennel is good at capturing those little misty raindrops which we are having quite a bit of:)

4. We have blackcurrants, but we also have two hungry young blackbird who appear to be rather partial to them!

5. Yellow loosestrife

6. And finally Crocosmia lucifer.

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

World Bee Day – 20th May 2020

Today is International World Bee Day. Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that one of my pasttimes is watching bees, recording them and planting food for them.

One of the best plants for bees is comfrey. It has a long flowering season which provides food throughout the spring and summer.

Blossom, such as apple or cherry blossom, is another great food source.

Herbs (e.g. sage, oregano, thyme) are also great for bees.

Vegetables often rely on bees for pollination, including runner beans, courgettes and many others. Allowing brassicas to flower can also provide food for bees.

Wild native flowers are also important for bees too. So having some in your garden is a great asset.

Six on Saturday

Today finds us in our first day of full lock-down here in Ireland. We were in partial lock-down before this but now it is just out for shopping and exercise (and no more than 2km from your house for the later).Thankfully we are lucky to have a big garden for the children to play. And we have had sunshine! That means the crocuses are open!

1 Crocus display

2. The crocus have attracted a couple of early garden bumblebees – I am so happy to see the bees back. A sure sign of spring.

3. Tulips are open – only a couple so far.

4. I have one small patch of wild wood anemone under one of the hedgerows. I love this flower, so delicate.

5. On the heather another bee – this time a buff-tailed bumble. If you look closely you can see little mites on her. These don’t do her any harm, they are found in her hibernating nest and keep the place clean!

6. And finally, buds on the cherry tree.

Thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday.