Friday 29 April 2011

Rowan Feast

During the short period of time each season that a plant or tree is in full bloom they become a magnet for bees. This is the case of the rowan in the garden these days. Its flat, white inflorescences offer a white background for photos, but in many cases they are too high for close shots. Bees will pollinate many trees - for example holly and horse chestnut - but observation is even more difficult. The first Bombus hypnorum workers of the year were collecting pollen in our tree. Other bumblebee like B. lapidarius, B. pratorum and B. pascuorum will also forage on this tree. Many Red Mason Bees and a collection of hoverflies also feasted on the rowan today. Above, Helophilus pendulus, the footballer hoverfly.
This female Red Mason bee about to land on the flowers is showing its pollen basket under her abdomen and the little "horns" on her face that help her collect mud and make her nest partitions.
A Bombus hypnorum worker with a heavy pollen load.

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