THE HONEY BEE & THE DAHLIA: LATE SEPTEMBER SUNSHINE


This honey bee was making the most of the late September sunshine. The colour of its pollen load suggests it had decided to target the dahlias. It managed to get a good all-over dusting too. 

Late honey bee and dahlia1Late honey bee and dahlia2 Late honey bee and dahlia3 Late honey bee and dahlia4 Late honey bee and dahlia6 Late honey bee and dahlia7 Late honey bee and dahlia8 Late honey bee and dahlia9

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BEES GOING ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS (1)


Dorset honey bee in flightDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset honey bee on HyssopDorset Honeybee on HyssopDorset Honey bee on runner bean flower

A SELECTION OF SUMMER BEES IN DORSET


This is a small selection of bees visiting a Dorset garden during the last month or so. The favoured flowers have been Hyssop, Lavender, Alium and Cosmos. And if anyone knows the name of the pale bee in photo #4, I’d be pleased to know – it’s a real beauty.

Summer Bees Dorset 1Summer Bees Dorset 2Summer Bees Dorset 3Summer Bees Dorset 4Summer Bees Dorset 5Summer Bees Dorset 6Summer Bees Dorset 8Summer Bees Dorset 9Summer Bees Dorset 10Summer Bees Dorset 11

A POPULAR POPPY WITH SMALL BEES Romneya coulteri


Small Bees at Oxburgh 1

TREE POPPY Romneya coulteri

This plant at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk was a magnet for small bees. We watched them come and go, filling up their little saddlebags. Photos of bees in flight don’t often work well. These are no exception. Still, they do catch the general bizzyness of the proceedings. The plant was lovely, not one we knew. Another new bee plant find for the year, along with Hyssop.

Small Bees at Oxburgh 2 Small Bees at Oxburgh 3 Small Bees at Oxburgh 4 Small Bees at Oxburgh 5 Small Bees at Oxburgh 6 Small Bees at Oxburgh 7White Poppy with Bees 7

“HONEY RUSH” – LAST ORDERS IN THE SEASON’S FLORAL SALOON


The bees are working overtime as a chill spreads over September and winter downtime looms for them. So busy are they that there is competition for individual flowers  – even though there are more than enough to go round. Bumbles were out in force yesterday, and there are still butterflies around, mainly tiny Small Coppers and Whites of different sizes.

We’ve done a quick assessment of plant popularity this spring and summer that produces this league table:

  1. Hyssop – the runaway winner for bees of many types, ditto butterflies and (new entry) moths. Planted for the first time in May, and has effortlessly thrived (throve? thriven?) to become Nectar Central.
  2. Lavender – perennial success with bees and butterflies. More planted this spring and very well visited.
  3. Cosmos – new to the garden this year, a fast and easy grower, and hugely popular with bees, especially bumbles. Also visited by honey bees and butterflies, but only on their way the the hyssop.

Bees in Dorset Summer's End 1 Bees in Dorset Summer's End 2 Bees in Dorset Summer's End 3 Bees in Dorset Summer's End 4 Bees in Dorset Summer's End 5 Bees in Dorset Summer's End 6 Bees in Dorset Summer's End 8 Bees in Dorset Summer's End 9Blurry, I know, but the intruder arrived from nowhere as I pressed the button… Why it didn’t land on one of several vacant flowers next to this one, I have no idea. Maybe fighting drunk on pollen?Bees in Dorset Summer's End 7

DORSET BEES, WILD HONEY & A RED SUNSET


GETTING TO GRIPS WITH A CANTERBURY BELLDorest Bees July 13 1

IF THE CAP FITS…Dorest Bees July 13 2

WHAT ARE THESE ‘HOVER-WASP’ GUYS CALLED?Dorest Bees July 13 3 Dorest Bees July 13I only noticed the gleaming gold thorax after downloading the photos

WILD BEES IN A WOODPECKER NEST BOX, ABACO, BAHAMASDelphi Wild Bees 2 Delphi Wild Bees 1

This year we had West Indian Woodpeckers using 2 nest boxes under the eaves.This successfully diverts them from drilling into the woodwork of the building. They raised two families this season, with 3 chicks fledging each time. Another nest box on a tree in the drive was not to their liking, and was quickly colonised by wild bees. The nearest small apiary – there are only two I know of on an island 120 miles long – is 15 miles away. These bees will never have known the luxury of a hive. I doubt they’d need or want it…

I photographed this sunset from our garden in Dorset a couple of evenings ago. In reality it was more dark pink than red, but by simply zooming directly at it the colour was altered dramatically. The second image is a simple crop of another photo taken seconds later, as the banding became clearer as the sun sunk below the horizon. It looks more like a planet. [NB No P/shop]
Dorset Sunset July 2 Dorset Sunset July 13

DON’T WORRY. BEE HAPPY…


A strange yellow disc appeared intermittently in the sky today. It is warmer. Time to venture into the garden. First stop – the lupins. Bees in residence? Check. Looking closely, I notice that they part the individual pods with their legs to get at the contents. There’s certainly bags of what they are after, to judge by the leg pouches.Bees June 1 Bees June 2 Bees June 5 Bees June 6

Next stop: the nice pink flowers that are called… well, if someone wants to remind me, please use the comment box. They came from a nice house in Kent and have flourished on my regime of benign neglect.Bees June 7 Bees June 9 Bees June 10 Bees June 11 Bees June 12

Now that blue thing – Canterbury Bell, is it? Bee inside? Tick.Bees June 8

The foxgloves seem popular with the bumbles today. Only the purple ones, not the white ones. Such pretty patterns close-up, and such long hairs inside. The technical term for these is… forgettable.Bees June 13 Bees June 14 Bees June 15 Bees June 16 Bees June 18

GOOD GRIEF! When I pressed the ‘publish’ button, this turned out to be my 100th post on this ramshackle, poorly curated website. Thanks to the select, small (but slightly increasing) numbers who turn up to have a look from time to time. This isn’t my main project, but it’s a place to put a few nice pics from time to time. Merci, all. RH