Macro Monday #91

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Speckled Wood Butterfly on Rudbeckia

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us”
~ Iris Murdoch

the bees knees

One

In Trelissick Garden near Truro, I came across a patch of these flowers Giant scabious (Cephalaria gigantea) which can grow to a whopping 2.5m so if you buy this plant then make sure it is at the back of the border.

Two

What drew my attention to them wasn’t the actual flower, pretty as it is, with the pale yellow-green scabious-type flowers floating on top of the willowy stems, blowing in the wind. Apologies for the poor quality of the flowers, I was focusing on the bees and the sunlight was extremely bright in this area.

Three

But the sheer number of bees swarming all over them. Nudging one another off in some places in their haste to drink the nectar.  Even standing on each other in their scrambling. As you can see they sink their proboscis deep into the flower. And plenty of bees knees and claws to be seen.

Many flowers are attractive to bees, with different types of bee varying in their particular preferences. In particular, long-tongued bumblebees such as Bombus hortorum tend to favour deep flowers, and of course short-tongued bumblebees such as Bombus terrestris/lucorum  prefer shallow flowers. The more you study bees, the more fascinating they are.

I am no bee expert, but these bees all had two-yellow bands and white tails so at first look I thought they could be white-tailed bumblebees (Bombus lucorum) or buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), but on a closer examination I realised they do not have pollen baskets so they are not collecting pollen and therefore must be all Male bees or perhaps some kind of Cuckoo bee. Hopefully a bee expert will come along and enlighten me!

Macro Monday #89

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Alstroemeria are tuberous perennials originating from South America. Commonly known as Peruvian Lilies or lily of the Incas. Beautifully spotted and marked perennials  in a whole range of colours including bright reds and oranges they will flower between June and October.

 

 

Bee #2

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Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) was given its common name because the arrangement of its leaves is somewhat ladder-like. This is a beautiful clear summer sky blue with contrasting yellow anthers and loved by bees. A pretty, delicate perennial.