Tuesday, 25 June 2013


I have always tried to make sure that I grow plants which bees like and have often been surprised by their choices.   This black elder, which I love, has such tiny flowers I didn't think bees would be interested in it and grew it for my own pleasure, but they love it.  It is smothered with flowers this year and a wild elder just up the road from us is covered in flowers.   There'll be plenty of berries for the birds this autumn.
A close-up of a flowerhead.  Each time I focused the camera the breeze blew so I had to hold it steady.

I used to spend ages trying to get close-ups of bees on various plants but have given up - there are too many other things which need doing!   Across the lawn is what we call a sage bush - it's that one in the middle.  I'm sure it has a proper name but I can't remember it and the garden encyclopaedia is downstairs and I've been gardening all afternoon and am too tired to fetch it.   The leaves are very sage like and the little yellow flowers are like those of sage but in little round clusters.  The bees like this plant too.

Resting with my cuppa at half-time I noticed 5 or 6 bees on these heuchera flowers.   They are almost insignificant but again, the bees love them.   With the plight of our wild honey bees being in the news so much recently I began to take notice of those that visit our garden and can't recall when I last saw a honey bee.  All our visitors are bumblebees which seem to come in all sizes.  Some are quite tiny and others are of the heavy bomber type which make me think they'll never take off!  

A couple of weeks ago my husband went to see if the compost in one of our bins was ready for use and noticed a lot of buzzing when he began to lift it.   He hastily replaced it and now we daren't investigate any further.   Every time we go near, there are as many as a dozen large bumblebees going in and out of the holes in the sides of the bin.   I am quite honoured that they like our garden so much, but I would like to be able to make use of the compost.  I think we are going to have to learn about the habits of bumblebees so that we can live amicably together.


Maggie Grey said...

I have been trying to photograph bees too, Heather. There have been loads on the blue cranesbill but the moment I get out the camera they all buzz off. Perhaps I missed the no publicity signs.

Charlton Stitcher said...

What a lovely plant that black elder is - it's a new one to me. I will seek it out.
I too have bees all over my blue cranesbill but no photos!

Judys Lace Creations said...

It's lovely seeing and hearing the bees. Those little flowers are so dainty.

Carol Q said...

It's a lovely plant your black elder Heather. So many of our native insects an animals seem to be suffering for one reason or another don't they? It's good to be able to do something to help.

Ro Bruhn said...

Your garden looks lovely Heather. Bees seem to be having a hard time everywhere, ours are slowly recovering from a disease that wiped out many hives. Unfortunately we don't have the lovely bumble bees over here, I loved them as a child.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lucky you to have a bumble bee nest in your compost Heather - I think you will have to leave it for the foreseeable future. Not sure about what happens over the winter are you?
I have never heard of that bush before.
Like Maggie I have lots of different cranesbill out - Johnsons Blue, and Patricia (bought for obvious reasons) are full of flower and bees.

sharon young said...

What a lovely long shot of your garden, Heather, and your doing a great job for the bees, my DH tells me that the poor honey bee is critically in decline, so sad.

Maggi said...

Your garden is looking so lovely and it's not surprising that the bees love it. Gorgeous black elder. I've got lots of bees around too and must brush up on the type.