Hoverflies are important pollinators of our crops. There are about 180 species of hoverfly in Ireland. Some like the one below resemble wasps or bees. They don’t have stings, but by pretending to a species that does they can perhaps avoid predation!
Male bumblebees, also know as drones as pretty transient. They don’t hang about for long. Once they leave their nest they fly around for a few weeks looking for females to mate with and then, job done, they just die off. It is the new females queens that will hibernate and start a new colony the following spring.
This year, drones of both Early Bumblebees and Heath Bumblebees are appearing earlier than expected here in Ireland. No one is quite sure why yet. It may be due to the strange weather we are experiencing, or it could be that these species are having two generations a year.
Many drone bees can be distinguished by the yellow hairs on their faces. The drone will often fly further than the females. So while this is the second year I have seen Heath bumble drones in my garden, I have yet to see a female Heath.
And I near forgot to add solstice greetings!!
In the United States, they are celebrating Pollinator Week (19-25th June). In Britain, they have a Pollinator Awareness Week which runs in July. Isn’t it time we in Ireland did something similar? After all pollinators are in decline worldwide and we can all do our bit to help pollinators in our local areas.
So this week I hope to post a few extra pollinator posts to start an “Irish Pollinator Week” of sorts. I will post the posts here and on a blog I share with a friend, Wild Pollinator Gardens.
And I ask each of you, where ever you are in the world, to think about posting at least one pollinator post or photo over this next week.
We visited the lovely Longford Demesne, Co Sligo, last weekend. The area consists of old and new native woodland, native hedgerow, an open area by an ancient rath and a field that has been sown with a mix specially to feed wild birds.
We’re really looking forward to doing a pollinator course there on the 17th June.
Combining two weekly photo challenges – Lost and Friend – I decided to do a post on how lost we would be without our friends the bees. Anyone who drops by here regularly will know that I am just a little bit passionate about bees, and in particular, bumblebees. What is there not to like; cute, clever, industrious and they pollinate so many of our flowers and crops.
Bees are every gardeners friend – we’d have no runner beans, strawberries, tomatoes, courgettes or fruit like apples without them doing the work of pollinating. Going further afield – do you enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or a bar of chocolate? Well without bees you’d have neither. It is estimated that the production of more than three-quarters of world crops depend on insect pollinators!
The Creating a Four Season Pollinator Garden course that was suppose to run last Saturday but was postponed due to wet weather, has been re-scheduled for this coming Saturday, 3rd June. For more information click on this link.
Creating a Four-Season Pollinator Garden The workshop will investigate the foraging behaviour of different native pollinator groups, honey, bumble, and solitary bees, hoverflies, and butterflies. We will also discuss appropriate garden design: siting and shelter; choice layout and flowering sequence of forage plants. The location is an established pollinator garden and the day will include […]