June has been a buzzy month in the garden with plenty of visiting bumblebees and the constant activity of our two resident bee populations. Tree bumblebees have been nesting under the eaves of the bay windows on the west side of the house; while at the bottom of the garden, in the shade, buff-tailed bumblebees have burrowed under the concrete of our seating area. And so cups of tea and mealtimes outside on the bench have been enjoyed in the constant company of incoming and exiting bees.
It’s in this part of the garden that one of the most bee-friendly of all our garden plants can be found – the Deutzia, with its powdery pale pink blooms attracting a multitude of bumblebees. Sadly, because of the heat, this year’s show was short-lived and all too soon the grass below was covered with spent petals. But even so, the bees seemed to have a wonderful time.
Nearby, swathes of Geranium Phaeum ‘Black Widow’ have continued to attract plenty of early bumblebees.
Elsewhere in the garden, Geums and Knautia Macedonica have buzzed with activity, welcoming early bumblebees and common carders; while white-tailed bumblebees have raced up and down the spikes of Salvia nemorosa in a foraging frenzy.
And the place to spot honeybees this month has been the pond. All through the hot weather they have been landing on the oxygenating weed to drink and collect water. Back at the hive the water is used to cool the temperature and maintain humidity, as well as to dilute food for their larvae. So if you are planning your own pollinator-friendly patch, don’t forget to add a source of water with something for the bees to land on.