The garden’s the place to bee

Summer may be long behind us, but there are still bees on the wing, and our gardens (which, according to the people at Wild About Gardens, together cover a greater area than all the National Nature Reserves) can play a huge part in helping to boost declining bee populations. In the garden here, there are still…

Blooms for bees: August

Throughout the summer months the Verbena bonariensis is the star of our pollinator friendly patch. It attracts bumblebees, honey bees, and butterflies, alike. Nearby, the Echinacea plants have continued to bloom, their cone-like centres equally popular with the bees. Elsewhere the tall spires of the hollyhocks have provided both food and shelter. Their wide, open…

Blooms for Bees: April

There have been many more bees on the wing this month: first sightings of red-tailed bumblebee queens (Bombus lapidarius), common carder queens (Bombus pascuorum) and of the first buff-tailed (Bombus terrestris) and early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) workers. There have been solitary bees too. Tawny mining bees (Andrena fulva) are nesting in amongst tussocks of grass in the…

Blooms for bees: March

There is marked change in the garden this month compared to February. Where before the only blooms were snowdrops, hellebores, winter aconites, viburnum and bergenia, March has seen the starry blossoms on the cherry plums come and go and welcomed a profusion of spring flowers. There are daffodils of all kinds, hyacinths, and tiny blue…