Spiky Squares

During the month of March, Becky, Queen of the Square format, is back. This month she would like to see anything spiky, jagged, bristly, serrated, prickly or barbed in whatever interpretation you like. The only rule: it must be a square.
March Squares

Bristly comb of the lovely roul-roul partridge

Bee #7

The female red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) is a very large, black bumblebee with a big red ‘tail’.   It is a social bee, nesting in old burrows, or under stones and can be found in gardens, farmland, woodland edges, hedgerows and heathland: anywhere there are flowers to feed on. This was spotted on some Asters (if I can still call them that) in one of the walled terraces on St Michael’s Mount last week.

Small is Beautiful…

(click to enlarge to full size – if you dare)

The spider species Araneus diadematus is commonly called the European garden spider, diadem spider, cross spider, or crowned orb weaver.

It is a dangerous time in the garden, whilst cutting down or pulling out dead and finished flowers you run the gauntlet of coming face-to-face with one of these. The thought of one of them getting into my hair gives me the heebie-jeebies. But needs must and all that. Perhaps I need to wear a hat.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #11 | Small is Beautiful or maybe not…

Macro Monday #93

a bee with attitude

With three yellow stripes and very hairy legs and face, I suspect this is a male bee. A very large one I can add, which landed slap in front of me as I was perusing the plants in the plant section at Trelissick Garden.  He neglected to tell me his name. But just look at those claws!

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!