Thursday, 23 March 2017

A Busy Garden

We were a bit weary this morning after yesterday's long walk so spent the morning in the front garden weeding in the bright sunshine - and taking a few minutes off every now and again to snap the insects which were enjoying the flowers around us.

The aubretia is coming in to flower and is popular with the honey bees from the neighbouring Ardnamurchan Campsite as is....

....the flowering currant.

However, most of the bees are in the heather, along with two common lizards. Not that they are hunting the bees - one almost landed on this lizard's nose, and he brushed it off hurriedly - they're after....

....the various types of fly.

Someone needs to tell the lizards that the flies aren't that keen on the heather, that there are far more of them on the vibernum, not only the more common bluebottle type but also....

....some more exotic fly species.

While most of the bees are honey bees, we're also seeing many more bumblebees, like this one which was enjoying the berberis, one of the shrubs that's much less popular with the honey bees. This is one of our favourite shrubs as it does very well in our maritime climate, and puts on a spectacular show of vibrant colour in the early spring.

Look closely at the bumblebee. It seems very early in the year, but he's already ....

....heavily infested with mites.

It doesn't look very pleasant but the good news is that they're not feeding on the bee itself. Having wintered in the bee's nest, feeding on wax, pollen and other debris, at this time of year they're hitching a lift on their host. In due course they'll drop off onto one of the flowers the bee visits, and then grab hold of the next passing bee.

No comments:

Post a Comment