Posts Tagged ‘bees’

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Goings on in the garden

May 18, 2010

I love May. The weather’s warming up and things are really starting to go on in the garden. Each day brings noticeable changes — a leaf unfurling, a new shoot appearing, a flower blooming or a seedling pushing up through the soil.

Today saw the first flowers on our potted strawberries…

…the Campanula covered in star-shaped buds, ready to burst into bloom…

…the Rudbeckia seedlings putting on a growth spurt, nearly ready for pricking out into pots…

…these Aquilegia plants from the Malvern Spring Gardening Show which we planted out at the weekend, making a much needed splash of colour at the bottom of the garden…

…and there’s all kinds of growing going on in the greenhouse.

But strangest of all is the bees.

A few weeks ago we bought a small hydrangea plant. J dug up some turf to make a new flowerbed and we planted the hydrangea, watered it in well and thought nothing much more about it. Within a day or two the bees had arrived. There aren’t any flowers on the plant yet — it’s too little and young for that — but it’s not the plant itself they seem interested in. It’s the ground below it.

I didn’t manage to get any particularly good photos but I’m sure you will see here what I mean.

Funny little wild-looking, burrowing bees.

Lots of them — going back and forth between my hydrangea and who knows where? Digging in the ground and then buzzing away again.

A quick Google tells me that they are probably solitary/mining bees — possibly tawny mining bees or maybe these red mason bees. What a nice surprise visitor! I was worried at first that they might damage the plant, but if I’ve identified them correctly they’re unlikely to do much damage and are an excellent pollinator — and they can’t sting humans. Welcome, little bees!