Friday, 13 January 2012

Buzzing laurustinus

 I planted a laurustinus (Viburnum tinus) bush on a large pot a couple of years ago and placed it opposite the window where we eat, a sheltered patio area. I did not realised at the time what a great location this was and what a fantastic bug magnet this bush is. One of the best features of lauristinus is its long winter flowering season (from October to May). My new vantage point has also revealed that their pollen and nectar rich flowers are often visited by honeybees, hoverflies and droneflies during mild winter days, as you can see in the photos below, all taken a few days ago. Come spring they are also visited by butterflies like the Holly Blue and early bumblebee Bombus pratorum queens. As this hardy bush does not mind shady conditions, their pink-white flowers are a good way of lightening dark corners of the garden.
A poor shot of Episyrphus balteatus
Eristalis sp. Dronefly.
The one on top of the post is possibly Meliscaeva auricollis, thank you Geoff F from WAB for the tentative ID given the difficult angle.

4 comments:

Antje said...

Wow, that is fantastic... I need that plant. :-D

Andrew Cunningham said...

I often do a late evening tour of the garden for diptera and whatnot in the summer and the viburnum often yields the most rewards. A productive plant.

Nice blog by the way. Found it through WAB.

sharp green pencil said...

Hi there and thanks so much for your comment on the blog! I subscribed to your blog a while ago and when this post arrived in my inbox the plant went straight on my bee list! I meant to say thanks for the tip ..just up to my ears in digging a pond,building raised beds and digging up the muddy grass to make way for more flowers.. But...yes!! isnt Mahonia just wonderful I would be very interested in what else you see visiting. On Dads huge specimen there were just a few flies (the house fly type) the other day. I have not seen one bee yet this year!! but then this garden has no flowers... yet!

Blackbird said...

Thank you Antje! I tried to comment on your blog a few months back, but somehow there was an error and I couldn't!
Thank you Andrew too for your kind comments.
And sharp green pencil, in my comment about Mahonia I forgot to mention the birds, Blue tits and Blackcaps enjoy a sip of nectar in the winter.