Making a beeline

Posted in All posts, July, on

The bumbles have their favourite flowers and zip across the garden at speed to jostle each other amongst whatever source of nectar is their flavour of the moment. With the Deutzia, Geraniums phaeum “black widow” and spessart all nearly over, they are now making a beeline to the candy pink spires of Sidalcea.

A block of this hollyhock-like prairie mallow in the garden attracts twenty or so bees at a time, with tree bumbles, white-tailed, buff-tailed, common carders, southern cuckoos, and even the odd honeybee all represented.

Planting in blocks helps the bees immensely, giving them plenty of nectar and pollen to gather in one go and preventing them from using up too much energy flying around from plant to plant.

I’m pleased to see the Sidalcea attracting some hoverflies too. The larvae (flattish, translucent maggots) of many of these much-welcomed insects devour aphids, keeping the balance of friends and foe in the garden on an even keel.

Thanks for reading!

Helen D writes about simple pleasures and seasonal observations at The House at Nab End. She is a volunteer BeeWalker for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and her gardening is inspired by her love of the natural world.