Buddleia or butterfly bushes are visited not just by butterflies but also by bees.
For example, here are a couple of Buff-tailed bumblebees, Bombus terrestris. The larger, with a buff coloured tail is a queen. The smaller, with a white abdominal tip is a worker or a male.
|Southern Cuckoo bee|
On this same bush yesterday in my West Sussex garden was a Southern cuckoo bee, Bombus vestalis, which is a parasite of Buff-tailed bumblebees.
|Southern cuckoo bee and a honey bee|
|Buff-tailed bumblebee queen (foreground) and a cuckoo bee (top)|
Just like the cuckoo bird, cuckoo bumblebees lay their eggs in a host bee's nest, which is cuckolded into rearing the cuckoo bee's progeny.
Bumblebees and honey bees are vital pollinators of plants. Solitary bees play an even greater role.
Advice for gardeners wishing to maintain a bee-friendly garden is avaiable from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at https://bumblebeeconservation.org/get-involved/gardening-for-bees/
"The extraordinary lives of wild bees and the important role of gardeners in their survival" is one of my talks on natural history, details of which are at http://www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk/page15.html
All these photo's were taken in my garden yesterday, 14 August 2017. Click on any picture to expand it. For my other talks please see http://www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk/