Friday, 17 April 2009

Flower Bee Garden

Misty start and then sunny, if a bit cool, day today. After finally getting Comfrey (Symphitum officinale) in the garden centre this Easter, I think I have completed my Anthophora plumipes garden. To prove the point, a female fed successively on Tree Germander (Teucrium fruticans), Primroses (Primula vulgaris), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Lithodora diffusa. The Grape Hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) are almost spent now but the rest of plants are starting to flower in earnest. The Primroses (from wild seed) were only plug plants a couple of weeks ago and are now flowering. The patch of Cowslip (Primula veris) under the fig is blooming non-stop and it seems to be a favourite. Maybe the cooler days we are having are a bonus for the female Anthophora, as the males prefer to fly in warmer weather. As soon as the sun appeared this morning a female was feeding out, not bothered by males. I managed to get a few shots of her when feeding on the Tree Germander. I guess that the species in this area is more limited by food plants than by nesting sites. Given the abundance of Victorian buildings, with lime based mortar nesting sites should be plenty.
A. plumipes female hovering on Tree Germander
 I let the shovel aside and take the camera to get some shots of the early critters mostly enjoying the sun in the garden, including a wolf spider and a male red mason bee (Osmia rufa). I still have to get comfortable with the macro setting in the G10. I do miss the supermacro mode in the G6, it was much faster to get the camera ready for close-ups.
An illustrated compendium of A. plumipes garden plants follows.
Cytisus racemosus
Grape hyacinth
Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign'
Primrose
Rosemary
Patch of cowslip
One of the first flowers of the Lithodora diffusa

Native flower internet providers (seeds and plugs)
meadowmania
Really wild flowers

3 comments:

keyswildlife said...

It's great to see all the buzzing in the garden. Spring is well and truly here. Now I'm in The Keys for a bit the bees are much bigger and move a lot faster.... haven't got my eye in yet! Jane

Blackbird said...

Hi Jane good to hear from you. If I was there I woudn't be able to keep my eyes away from the lizards, I used to work on lizards and I do miss reptiles in the UK!

sharp green pencil said...

Hi there Val again .. I have just read more of your bee posts. They are really wonderful and I have linked this post to the blog.. again.. as.. yes have been painting the HHFB today. sorry but your posts are so informative.:) It's interesting because I am in the USA Google always prioritizes American sites!!