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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Seven species of bees in a West Sussex garden today. Updated to nine species!

Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris
On the 14th March 2018 the above Buff-tailed Bumblebee queen was photographed in my West Sussex garden.  There were several.  Absent then and still absent to date are Tree Bumblebees.  It may be that the bitter winter has killed off resident Tree Bumblebees locally, just as some bee keepers here have lost their honeybees during the winter freeze.
Hairy-footed Flower Bee male, Anthophora plumipes
11th April 2018 and a Hairy-footed Flower Bee male, Anthophora plumipes above is sunning himself.
Hairy-footed Flower Bee female, Anthophora plumipes 
Cowslips are popular with female Hairy-footed Flower Bees: above on 19 April 2018
This vegetable plot was dug last Autumn and despite the frosts and torrential rain the clods of Wealden clay are solid still.

Adrena sp. mining bee.
On the 14th April 2018, a solitary Adrena sp., a mining bee, loaded with pollen, disappeared into a crack in the ground -- perhaps to make a nest.

It can only hope that a parasitic Nomad bee doesn't find it.
Nomad Bee
On 19th April 2018 a Nomad bee, possibly Gooden's Nomad Bee, Nomada goodeniana was seeking out host bees' nests to parasitise.
Gooden's Nomad Bee, Nomada goodeniana ?
Elsewhere in the garden there were more bee species.

 Tawney Mining Bee, Adrena fulva pollinating blackcurrants.

Pollination was also aided by a male Early Bumblebee, Bombus pratorum.

Another Andrena sp. ? solitary bee has been flying for some days now: above on a dandelion flower in a flower bed today.
Not a bad count for a formal garden, which is evolving into a nature reserve: the subject of one of my talks, which can be seen at
Click on any picture to enlarge it.
There actually was an eighth sepcies yesterday -- a tiny solitary mining bee shown below.

An Adrena sp.? possibly Andrena labiata, Red-girdled Mining Bee: the white face fits.  Here on a foxglove leaf.
If one was to include Honeybees then the species count goes to nine bees.
Above on Ground-Ivy, Glechoma hederacea, which is visited by numerous bee species and is a "must have" "weed" in my garden.  

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