Tuesday 27 March 2012

The Plight of the Bumblebee

What a lovely week of weather. Summer really is here. Much of the insect life that we wouldn't normally see for several weeks yet has warmed up and got going. Small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies are flying around as are queen bumblebees. These ladies have been hibernating through the winter and are now looking to start a new colony. But before they can do this they need to feed up enough to lay eggs from where the first worker bees will hatch.

A small tortoiseshell enjoying the sun

A white-tailed bumblebee queen trying to work out where the nectar is!

Although the early good weather is great for us, the bees and butterflies can struggle to find enough nectar to feed, as there aren't many plants flowering yet. Willow trees are really important and their catkins are often shrouded with bumblebees. You can help too by planting some early flowering, nectar rich plants in your garden. Cherry trees, flowering currant bushes, daffodils and rosemary are all great for bumblebees. French marigolds are great for butterflies, and don't mow all your daisies and buttercups - these are good too.

Remember that helping the bumblebees is helping your garden too. We need them as pollinators.

No comments:

Post a Comment